Friday, October 22, 2010
The fact that I saw, Tall Stack the moment she was born, and the fact that she is a much prettier version of me is enough to prove that I am her father. But, what really sealed the deal was, last Saturday, she won a goldfish at the school carnival and named him, "Frank" All of the other neighborhood kids named their fish traditional names like, Rainbow, or Bubbles. Nope, my kid named hers, Frank. I love it. I find a lot of humor in giving animals, people names. So Frank was just perfect.
We all remember being nine. The anticipation and excitement of tossing that ping pong ball into the yellow cup of water and winning that cute little goldfish. You can't wait to get him home and into that bowl. You can't wait to feed him and watch him grow. Such high hopes we had, didn't we?
Reliving this experience as the parent, knowing what the end result will be is a pretty uncomfortable place to be. As if some sick and painful right of passage that we cannot avoid looms on the horizon. We pray to God that that ping pong ball will bounce off the rim of that cup and end up on the ground. We hope that the face painting booth next door will divert the kid's attention. Of course this prayer on this day is answered. It just isn't the answer that we were hoping for. The look on her face when she won, Frank was priceless. She was so excited and couldn't wait to get him home. The Boss and I gave each other that look. We agreed without words to let this blissful moment commence without warning that within days, 3 at the most, we will be conducting a tearful ceremony over the toilet in the downstairs bathroom.
3 days came and went. Frank continued to do laps in his bowl as the rest of the neighborhood fish were dropping like flies. He has the heart of a lion, I thought. He is going to defeat the odds. 4 days and still going strong. "You are a warrior, Frank." I actually said this to him through the glass although I'm sure he didn't hear me over the swoosh of the water streaking past his head as he circled the bowl with lightning speed.
Day 5 was met with much different results. The laps around the bowl had ceased. The interest in life was gone. The offers of food, ignored. I was there when, Frank gasped his last breath of Target brand distilled water. The boss and I agreed that we must get rid of him before, Tall Stack got home from school.
"Who once came from the sea, must return to the sea." These were the words I spoke as I pressed the brushed steel handle of the downstairs toilet. And just like that, Frank was gone.
It's these moments of parenthood that make us appreciate our parents a little more. They make us love our kids a little more. And they make us wonder what lessons can be learned about life and death. Does surviving a mildly broken heart really make us stronger? I hope for, Tall Stack's sake that it does.
Monday, October 4, 2010
Dammit, I crack myself up...
OK, let me preface tonight's post by saying that nothing in this life gives me more joy than being the father of my two girls, "The Stacks," one short and one tall, as they've come to be known. Not to mention, "The Boss," who after ten years of marriage still makes me feel like the luckiest guy in town.
BE THAT AS IT MAY.......
Living in this estrogen abundant environment does not come without its dangers and challenges. Oh, I stand at the top of my stairs in the morning like a mature Simba, watching over my kingdom... The golden locks of my mane blowing in the artificial wind created by the air conditioner vent just over my left shoulder. Truth be told, my locks are more of a strawberry blond but let's face it, that doesn't have quite the same dramatic effect. The pride below hardly gives me half a glimpse as a reminder that I am but a figurehead and that they, and only they truly rule the roost. Sometimes, when I turn my back to them , I hear their failed attempts at a silent giggle. I hardly make a fuss though, not because I'm weak but because I have learned to choose my battles wisely.
From time to time, when it feels as if the uterine walls are closing in around me. When I can't take the sound of a crying "Short Stack" for one more second. Or when I can't sit and watch Riding in Cars With Boys for the 100th time. "The Boss" will send me out to do what the women in this family call, Weenie welding." It's not as painful as it sounds, don't worry. Directly translated it means, "Go hang out with the boys." Sometimes that means a round of golf, or a night of fishing out on the pier. More recently, it means going outside with the neighbors. The neighbor to the left, we'll call him "Techy" he's a gadget guy. The neighbor to the right, we'll call, "Reverend". He's not really a reverend, but he can quote scripture like Billy Graham is his daddy. We have some of the greatest times just hanging out in front of the house in our little cul de sac. We talk about guy crap. We bitch about girl crap. We reassure each other that everything is going to be just fine. We drink a beer or two. Then we break our huddle and go back to our families with refueled jets.
The moral of the story is..... Bosses, let your men weenie weld for a bit. It's good for him. It's good for you. And it's good for the overall wellness of the family. Don't you agree?
Friday, October 1, 2010
What do you do when you have taken inventory of your sheep over and over and over again and you still can't seem to fall asleep? For seven, count them seven nights, I have had this issue. Not only have I been struggling to sleep, I have also had a hard time trying to find something to write about. So after the third night of tossing and turning with nothing really weighing on my mind, I began to take note of my worthless thoughts and started jotting them down on the moist in one corner, bar napkin in my brain. The following are some of the highlights that I thought might be worth sharing. These are all true thoughts. Some of them are so off the wall that you simply could not make them up. And in no particular order, here we go.
"Oh my, it feels good to be in bed. It's 3AM, why am I still awake? I wish there was a Kleenex within arms length, I'd get rid of this nose goblin that bounces to and fro with every breath I take. If I picked it and flicked it at the TV, I bet I could make the nanny named Fran (yeah we're Nick at Nite people) look like she has a beauty mark on her cheek. But then when it goes to commercial, I'll still have a booger on my TV. Better not do that." At that point, I actually laughed out loud. "I hope "The Boss" doesn't wake up. Ooh, "The Boss." If I grab her boob, do you think she'll wake up? Probably! Her alarm is gonna go off in an hour. Grabbing her boob at this hour isn't romantic, it's fuckin' rude. Hey, there's cold pizza in the fridge. Yeah but that's way down stairs. If I had the energy to go way down stairs, then I could walk ten steps to the bathroom to get the Kleenex that would get rid of the nose goblin that I have already considered lobbing at Fran Drescher. More work than it's worth"...........................WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP WOP, "You're a jerk, Alarm. Only three hours of sleep, give or take." Time to get "Tall Stack" off to school and then entertain "Short Stack" until 10:30 when "The Boss" gets home.
Do you ever have trouble sleeping? Are your thoughts during those wasted hours as weird as mine? Please, tell me I'm not alone. Tell me I'm not absolutely insane. It's 2:51 AM as I close out this morning's post. I have to be up in 3 1/2 hours. Time to head up to bed. Duck and cover Ms. Fine.