Go Ask Your Father: Tetanus, Climate, Probiotics, and Poop

My Orioles are just 49.5 games back from first place. I’ve seen better games from little leaguers. I got a new ball glove for my birthday and I’m tempted to try out. I think they need my help. in 1911 they lost 111 games that season. With just 37 more losses, they can tie that record. There are 43 games left so don’t count them out yet.

Now, if you’ll excuse us, it’s hot and we have a friend with a pool before we leave for Crash’s ball game that is over an hour away. Happy Tuesday (or here, aka Garbage Day) everyone!

1. What is a tetanus shot for?

It’s for the wound you’re about receive from swinging around that piece of wood that has two nails rustier than the Oriole’s bats (they’re currently 49 games back). This where the can of worms was opened. Does it hurt? How much does it hurt? What’s tetanus? My goal is to always answer their questions has honestly, simply as possible, and sufficiently enough to not raise more questions. I failed miserably here. Tetanus is caused by bacteria found in dirt and animal poop. This bacteria forms spores that are highly immune to heat and drugs. They are the Jason Borne of the bacteria world. Tetanus causes painful muscles contractions, often in the jaw and neck. Imagine labor contractions in your face. No thanks. I’ll pass. And there’s no cure for it. You may need to be put on life support until the disease runs its course. Lesson? Keep your tetanus vaccine up to date.

2. What is climate?

It’s that thing a certain president and his following of “deniers” don’t believe in. Though, to be fair they don’t believe that it’s changing. Canada is known for it’s cold weather. However, for the past six weeks we’ve had little rain and temperatures in the 90’s. For two weeks the temps were near or over 100F! Soon there will be palm trees and coconuts in Nova Scotia. Anyway, climate is different from weather in that weather is the day to day forecast while climate is over a longer period of time. Neil DeGrass Tyson has a great two minute explanation here. As the climate changes, so does the weather. There’s so much that can be effected and none of it is particularly good. Colder temperatures in winter mean less snow which means less ground water. Warmer temperatures mean more sickness. It could mean longer droughts. Worse floods. Stronger hurricanes. Melting ice caps and warmer oceans. Anyone who has had to flush a pet fish knows how sensitive fish can be to water temperature change.

3. What are probiotics?

They are biotics that get paid for what they do. They are pros. Like the NFL, NHL, MLB, MLS, NBA, and teachers. In the world of good guys and bad guys, probiotics are the superheroes. Captain America: Civil War was really about the microorganisms in our guts duking it out with the E. coli. These healthy, live bacteria keep our immune system strong and our digestive tract clean. In our time of antibiotics and antibacterial soaps and lotions, we also need to remember that we’re killing the good guys too. Imagine the Avengers fighting Thanos then Superman and Batman swoop in and just kill everyone.

4. Why’s my poop green.

Yellow, let it mellow. Brown flush it down. But what if it’s green? When you are summoned to the bathroom by a seven year old (or younger) it could be for any number of reason. This time it was see the color of poop. I didn’t take a picture, but believe me when I tell you it was the color of Crayola’s meadow green. This happened to us once before when we ate cookies made by Crayola. They came out the same color they went in. Anyway, Bang’s poop wasn’t green from eating too many leafy greens, I can promise you that. It was also wasn’t caused by anal fissures. So it must have just been a hiccup in his digestive tract somewhere. The most likely culprit is that his intestines moved the food along too quickly resulting in the bile pigment not being broken down in the stool to its normal brown color. Either way, it was nothing to lose our shit over so we just laughed and flushed it down.

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Questions I Asked My Kids: The Rorschach Edition

Here’s something a little different. The Rorschach test. Administered to my two kids. Before you scroll down to their answers, take a look at them yourself first. See what you can see then compare it to what they saw. Then after you read their perspectives, see if you can see what they saw.

And when you’re done looking at these inkblots, check out my pictures on Instagram. (Follow me for completely-made-up-imaginary bonus points)

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Crash: I see a castle with windows. I also see a three eyed monster eating an apple.

Bang: It looks like a tank with dots all over it. It also looks like a big scorpion monster.

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Crash: I see what looks like two dog heads with a butterfly or some sort of bug in the middle

Bang: It looks like a monster with four eyes.

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Crash: It looks like a pirate ship. Or a face with a Ninja Turtle mask. I also see a super tall Batman that has a mask that’s way to big for his face.

Bang: It looks like a pirate ship. Or a space ship shooting missiles.

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Crash: I see five faces. And what looks like an animal of some sort. Like a horse.

Bang: It looks like two goldfish swimming away from a monster that shot cannonballs.

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Crash: I looks like a giant with a boomerang in each hand and he’s sitting on a stool.

Bang: Looks like a transformer that transforms into an 18 wheeler that has rockets to make it fly and fire coming out of it.

Some Stuff I Learned Coaching Baseball

This is my second year coaching nine to eleven year olds in the American pastime known as baseball. I learned so much last year. I’m not a rookie any more, but I’m still learning. They seem to be bigger lessons now. Deeper. And they apply to life, not just baseball. It’s weird like that.

These kids, boys and girls alike, are on the field because they want to play, because they’re looking to be a part of team, to have fun, and learn the game. They’re not competing for multimillion dollar contracts. They’re not competing for a first round draft pick. They’re not even competing for a golden glove. They want to hit the ball, run the bases, and perhaps a few of them are looking to get dirty sliding into home. Or second. Or first, even.

Give each of them their chance

Once you take winning and losing off the table, when it’s no longer an option, then the field is wide open. That kid who keeps asking to pitch, but has trouble throwing hard enough to get the ball all the way to the catcher? Give them a chance. At least then they’ll know there are 8 other positions they can try. That kid who has never played baseball before asks repeatedly to be the catcher? Let them armor up and try catching. So what if they make a better goalie than catcher, at least now they know it’s not as easy as it looks. And outfield sucks. The ball is either never hit out there or when it is, you have run to go get it. UGH! Most worstest position, ever!

It’s not always to go your way

Sometimes the umpire does a phenomenal job and sometimes you’re pretty sure Stevie Ray Wonder could have done a better job. Part of our job as coach is teach respect for the other team and for the umpires, so we say nothing. That pitch was at eye level but called a strike? So be it. Just be ready to swing at it next time. You got called out when you were safe? I’m sorry, but we don’t have instant replay. We’ll get ’em next time. This is where we learn “it is what it is”. Arguing is disrespectful. We can’t change the umpires, but we can change our attitude.

It’s not always fair

The kids just want to play ball. So when we showed up to a game with 12 players and the other team had just 6 we didn’t want to cancel. The eighteen kids who showed up would have been disappointed and no one would have gained any experience from that. So we asked if anyone would be willing to play for the other team (they were a team from our town so most of our team knew the other team). Three were willing and that made it nine versus nine. Fair. Then the other team won. With our players! Can you say frustrating? I can. The kids had fun, though. Isn’t that what counts? UGH… I guess so…

Even a rookie can surprise you

Our team this evening was comprised of nine players. Six of them were first year players. Several of them made great plays in the field to get us some outs. They were all swinging the bat to get hits. One nearly hit a homerun (he was tagged out at home). Just because they’re the underdog, just because they’re not expected to perform well, doesn’t mean they’ll live down to that expectation. With just the right piece of advice, or just the right timing, or just the right attitude, they can make the smallest hits into the biggest deals. When given the chance, they can end a losing-by-15 game with laughter.

While the kids are learning about baseball, us coaches are learning about life. Sometimes it’s all home runs. Sometimes it’s nothing but strike outs. Usually, it’s a little of both. We just hope for more home runs and fewer strike outs. We give it our best swing, our best throw, and make the best of it.

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Life

Life goes on…

Whether I’m writing or not
whether I’m running or not
whether my Orioles are winning or not (and they’re mostly not)
whether it’s hotter than nine hells or not (and it is)

Thank you Nike+ for informing me that I haven’t run for 127 days. Thank you Facebook for letting me know that my readers haven’t heard from me “for a while”.

Since I’ve been away from writing we’ve played some baseball games. We won three of them. We took a three night trip to PEI to spend some time away with DW’s brother and their 4 kids. Crash and Bang love playing with their cousins and were sad to leave. It’s been hotter than nine Hells here in Canadaland. The heat index has been at least 35 C. That’s 95 F. That’s 308 Kelvin. For us, that’s hotter than a toddler who was just handed the wrong color cup.

The kids are still being kids. The parents are still being parents (most of the time) (we’re off the clock after Satan’s Spawns are asleep). I have considered quitting this blogging gig. I haven’t posted since Crash’s Birthday a month ago. I haven’t written a word until right now, actually. I’m totally amazed y’all are still here. Not only have I not lost any readers, but I’ve gained a few! If you’re one the new ones, thanks for your faith in me that I’d come back. If you’re one of the old ones, you understand.

Life goes on, Obladi, Oblada,
how the lifeĀ  goes on…

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