10 Reasons My Kids Are A-Holes

I wrote once that I wanted to keep my kids from being a-holes so that when they grew up they could be respectful, contributing citizens of wherever they live.

But right now? Right now they’re a-holes. Especially, to each other. I thought it was just a phase. I thought it would pass. It’s been 10 and 6 years. It hasn’t passed.

1. He used to LOVE bananas.

Now they’re too “mushy” and won’t touch them. Even the unripe, green bananas are too mushy for him now. He liked them last week. Today he hates them. There were two fruits he would eat, the other being apples. If they weren’t mushy. He likes mushy food. He practically lives off mashed potatoes. He’s like that with other foods, too. He will eat carrots unless you tell him there’s carrots in his meal. The only meat he’ll eat that’s not mashed into mashed potatoes is ham and haddock. Simply put, he’s a typical picky eater. The silver lining here is that we no longer have a fruit fly farm.

2. His toast was cut into too many triangles.

Now he won’t touch it. He wanted it cut into two triangles, diagonally. I forgot to ask and I cut into four triangles. I might as well have spread bananas across it. I remember a time when my uncle was trying to prepare a hotdog for this same child. Naturally, he got it wrong the first time. After he was told by said 4 year old child what to do he tried to rectify the situation. It still wasn’t right. Why? Because you can never please an asshole child. It’s not that the bar is set too high. It’s that there is no f***ing bar.

3. He killed his brother just watch him die.

They like to play Lego Star Wars for the Wii. First off, it’s Star Wars! Second off, it’s Lego! It’s a great work together kind of game. Therefore as long as they’re playing nice I don’t mind giving them some extra screen time. The problem is, they often don’t play nice. Bang gets stuck and his big brother won’t help. Instead, he starts shooting his blaster at him. Or, even better, goes all Dark Side and kills him with a light saber. The sole reason? Just to watch his little brother’s character explode into tiny Lego pieces, killed him on purpose like he’s Johnny Cash’s Folsom Prison Blues.

4. He’s not being nice to his brother’s stuffie.

Crash loves his stuffies. He has a queen size bed (hand me down) and what space his little-no-so-little body doesn’t use is taken up by stuffies. He treats them as if they were real animals. It’s the Velveteen Rabbit all over again, minus the scarlet fever. It’s good to see him so loving and caring and gentle. I just wish he’d treat his brother similarly. His brother, on the other hand, fully understands the stuffies aren’t real. They can’t be hurt. It doesn’t matter how hard or often you throw them against the wall they won’t talk. It doesn’t matter how many times you jump on their head, they just won’t cry. But you know… it’s all in the name of pissing off your brother for killing you on purpose.

5. He didn’t share the last of the ice cream.

Imagine having three scoops of ice cream left. I know it’s hard to picture, but just try. Just a little bit left that didn’t get eaten. Perhaps it was saved for later, like after the kids go to bed, but then you fell asleep with the kids and didn’t get to eat it. Then, after supper the oldest child finds it while looking for dessert because God forbid he not get dessert. Then he proceeds to clean out the tub and lick it clean. Meanwhile, his little brother gets nothing. I made sure little brother got extra cookies to make big brother jealous, too. Unfortunately, this isn’t a phase, though we’re trying our hardest to teach them to do good.

6. He doesn’t hold the door open.

He lets it slam on the person behind him. Could be me, his mother, his little brother. He gets through the door and he doesn’t let it hit him on the ass on his way out. This goes for both little heathens. Even getting into the truck, they absolutely refuse to let each other in “their side” unless strictly requested. Fortunately, this is only at home and in the truck. But still…

7. I mopped the floor last night.

This morning they are eating pancakes on the living room floor. Sticky, syrupy pancakes.

“That’s okay. I love to be your maid”
~No Parent Ever

  • They’re tracking muddy shoes across a freshly vacuumed floor.
  • They’re flinging toothpaste on a freshly cleaned bathroom mirror
  • They’re jumping on a freshly made bed
  • They peed on the toilet that I just finished cleaning pee off
  • They put a dirty dish in a sink that I just emptied by washing and drying all the dirty dishes that were in it.
  • They spilled strawberry jam on a counter I scrubbed clean 30 seconds ago
  • They dumped the crayon bucket to find peach on a kitchen table I just cleared off for supper

No doubt, whatever it was that was just cleaned will be wrecked in 30 seconds or less or the next one’s free.

8. He’s aiming a Nerf gun at his brother.

While I enjoy a good Nerf gun fight, they can’t be had in our house for a couple reasons. When we start a fight it’s all fun and games. Then someone runs out of darts and has to call a timeout. During the timeout someone gets tired of waiting starts shooting. The victim then proceeds to go batshit crazy. The second scenario is that the game ends except someone doesn’t know it ended and continues firing. Like the USS Shenandoah that continued to chase down and sink Union ships six months after the Confederacy collapsed. Which brings us to the second reason. The youngest hates to have darts shot at him. Whether he was shot at close range, had his eye shot out, or took one to the face, or all of the above, he hates to even have a Nerf gun pointed at him. Loaded or not. Johnny could easily have sung, I shot my brother just to hear him scream”.

9. I told him not to touch the cart.

Then, he touched the cart. It’s a stupid rule. Both Crash and I know it’s a stupid rule. Neither one us are allowed to touch the shopping cart. That’s Bang’s job. He has passed up a trip to the bookstore and the promise of picking out books to go grocery shopping just so he can push the cart. He does not want help with it, either. So the rule is, don’t touch the cart. I will not subject you to hearing the hissy fit that occurrs when the cart is touched.

10. He farted.

In the truck. At the table. In the living room. While brushing his teeth. In his brother’s room. The stench from it is enough to peel the paint off the walls. It’s all fun and games and hilarious when he does it. Guess what ensues when someone else does it? All Hell? Yeah, it breaks loose. Oh sure, farts are hilarious, but only when they’re your own. We easily know who dropped a destroyer because the other will lose his shit.

*Disclaimer: They are not like this all the time. I picked out specific instances that they did jerk things. Hopefully, to provide humor and solace to those have kids who do asshole things, too. We love our two assholes very dearly.

If you’re not an A-Hole you can follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.


Lucy At Home

Advertisements

23 Questions I Asked My Kids: The 2 Year Anniversary

This is the origin of the “Questions I Asked My Kids” series that appears here every Thursday. Or most Thursdays. This is the 52nd episode, the one year episode. I have asked 10 questions every Thursday for an entire year. 520 questions. Except the pilot episode had 23. Of course, sometimes questions were repeated just to see if they would give the same answer.

In honor of those first 23 questions, I thought I’d revisit them. It took me more than two years to ask a year’s worth of questions. The pilot first appeared in June of 2015. Crash was just 8 and Bang 4. You can read Bang’s answers here and Crash’s are here. As always, feel free to steal these questions to ask your own kids (no matter how old they are). Just be sure to tag me so I can read their answers.

1. What is something Dad always says to you?
Crash: No
Bang: Get ready for bed!

2. What makes Dad happy?
Crash: When the Orioles win or Splatoon 2
Bang: When I do chores

3. What makes Dad sad?
Crash: When the Orioles lose or my brother and I aren’t good listeners.
Bang: When you couldn’t get the chocolate sugar cookies because mom made you put them back (I got vanilla ones instead)

4. How does Dad make you laugh?
Crash: By saying “I’m Bri’ish. I drive on the other side of the road” in a British accent.
Bang: By stomping and clapping when you make fun of my brother

5. What was Dad like as a child?
Crash: You had hair for one and you liked going outside and playing baseball
Bang: You behaved good but were a little bit bad and liked to run around and scream

6. How old is Dad?
Crash: 40
Bang: 41

7. How tall is Dad?
Crash: 5’4 or 5’9 or 5′ something
Bang: 21 feet

8. What is Dad’s favorite thing to do?
Crash: Go outside or watch the Orioles
Bang: Teach in gym

9. What does Dad do when you’re not here?
Crash: Clean and play Splatoon 2
Bang: Wash dishes, watch TV, play Splatoon and crawl around on the floor

10. If Dad becomes famous what will it be for?
Crash: Teaching, I guess
Bang: Being in a book that says dad dad dad dad dad dad

11. What is Dad really good at?
Crash: Aiming snowballs like that time I was running away from you and you hit me in the back of the head.
Bang: Cleaning the house and teaching gym

12. What is Dad not very good at?
Crash: You’re not very good at surviving in Splatoon 2 and remembering stuff
Bang: Playing baseball on the Nintendo Switch. When we play I always beat you

13. What is Dad’s job?
Crash: Teaching but it’s not your official job. You don’t have an official job, you’re just a substitute.
Bang: Teaching gym

14. What makes you proud of Dad?
Crash: That you love me and pack my lunch and awesome super amazing best dad ever
Bang: Making my bed

15. What is Dad’s favourite food?
Crash: Apple pie
Bang: Peanuts and roast beef

16. What do you and Dad do together?
Crash: We used to play Minecraft together but you don’t play any more. Now we build lego, go ice skating
Bang: We play Uno, we skate together

17. How are you and Dad the same?
Crash: Our big caterpillar eyebrows!
Bang: We love pop

18. If your Dad was a cartoon character who would he be?
Crash: Snow white
Bang: Harry Potter

19. How are you and Dad different?
Crash: I have hair and you don’t. I play Minecraft, you don’t. You wear glasses, we read different books
Bang: I can’t drink beer but you can (but I don’t, I prefer wine)

20. How do you know Dad loves you?
Crash: Feed me, shelter me, scratch my back
Bang: He lays with me

21. What does Dad like best about Mom?
Crash: Her hair and her boobs
Bang: Her ding dong (that’s her belly button)

22. Where is Dad’s favorite place to go?
Crash: The living room couch
Bang: McDonalds and the Margarita shop

23. How old was Dad when you were born?
Crash: 30
Bang: 16

If you’re questioning where else you can follow me, look no further than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Things I learned After Having Kids

I can only imagine  how much my parents learned about parenthood after I was born. I was colicy. I hated coloring. I painted newspaper to the floor. I joined the wrestling team. While I had a steep learning curve it was mostly because I was the first born. My brother, however, brought whole new challenges to the table. In the beginning, the only electronics we had in the house was an Atari. No tablets. No cell phones. No computers unless you count the Commodor 64. Now we have all that and social media and everyone is “connected” every which to Sunday.

My kids are not me

Oh hell… Who am I kidding. They’re more like me than I care to admit. From “I had it a minute ago, I don’t know where it is now.” To all the broken things. They could tear the hinges off of Hades if only I hadn’t torn them off when I was their age. However, they are more headstrong than I remember myself being. I was a go-with-the-flow kind of kid. These two are not. They know what they want and they are not afraid to ask for it. Or ask Nanny for it. They’re also not afraid to argue their point of view. They haven’t figured out this household isn’t a democracy.

Two kids isn’t easier than one

Silly me. So nieve when I was “young”. One kid was easy. Easy to feed. Easy to entertain. Easy to transport. Easy to put to bed. When we added a second, we had no idea what we were getting ourselves into. When the second was an infant we were so tired to call us zombies would have been a compliment compared to how we felt. Yet no matter how tired we were, we still had our first born to care for. One can stay awake for just so many games of UNO on such little sleep. Now that they’re old, the ideal would be for them to entertain and play with each other. Naturally, we’re not there. Everything is a competition. Everything is a distraction. They live to annoy the shit out of each other. At breakfast time. At suppertime. At bedtime.

The common enemy

It’s us versus them. Having two kids has brought us closer together. “You’re momma told ya not to do that and you went and did it anyway. Don’t come crying to me about it.” It works in reverse, too. Only on rare occassions when we feel the other just needs to take their chill pill will we override the consequences. If they ever realized they could play us against each other, our world would crumble like last Christmas’s gingerbread house.

Not all things are teachable

I’m a teacher. I teach things. All kinds of things. I teach kids to multiply double digits numbers. I teach kids long division. I teach kids to speak with respect to others and to take pride in their work. Do you think I can teach my kids to pick up their toys when they’re done? Do you think I can teach my kids to pee IN the toilet instead of ON it? Do you think I can teach them that life is so much better when they’re playing together rather than fighting together. I just can’t do it.

For the most part, I wasn’t an instigator growing up. My brother was my brother and it usually wasn’t my intent to piss him off. Usually. My two thrive on instigating fights and arguments with each other. Just tonight at bedtime, the youngest was laughing his head off at his brother who was red-in-the-face angry at whatever it was his little brother was doing or saying. We’re not even sure. All we knew was that it was bedtime and they needed to get there before we went batshit crazy like big brother was.

Pride comes in small doses

It could be a random “I love you” or “I like your face” or “thank you for loving me”. It could be an assignment they’re proud of completing in school. It could be at hit they made, a fly ball they caught, a goal they scored. It could be a first word or a first step or reading their first book. Perhaps it was a first solo song or finally getting rid of the training wheels. It could be a new picture for the fridge or special card they made at school.

Wherever it comes from it reaches deep and grabs your heartstrings. When the days end and you feel their little bodies softly slip into slumber, you can’t help but feel the love. They in your loving embrace and you in their warmth and innocence. You kept them alive for yet another day and in that success you can be proud.

You can make me proud by following me on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook

3555288-quotes-about-being-a-parent

Questions I Asked My Kids: Ep48

Canadian Thanksgiving is just around the corner. Monday, to be precise. One day of work left until we hit homestretch. Tomorrow, I’ll be in a 1st and 2nd grade French class. Those 6 and 7 year olds will know far more French than I do. Unless they ask, “Puis-je aller aux toilettes?” I won’t have a clue what they’re saying. So they’ll get to speak English. They’ll be thankful for that. And so will I. There’s that silver lining I love so much.

1. If we had an airplane to take us on vacation right now, where would we go?

Crash: Legoland
Bang: South Korea

2. If we could go to Halifax but couldn’t use a car to get there, how do you think we could get there?

Crash: Giraffe because we could see everything since they’re so tall. I would name mine Steve.
Bang: In a plane

3. If you could have any animal in the world as a pet, where would you go to get it and what would it be?

Crash: I would get an eagle or a fox and I would get them from Hope for Wildlife.
Bang: It would be a giraffe and I would get it at the zoo so I could high high high and look in his mouth to see its 20 inch tongue

4. If you could do something just like your friend what would you do?

Crash: Stay up until 1:00 in the morning Snap Chatting
Bang: Speak French like Nolan. I can’t speak French, but I can speak British.

5. If you could change anything about school what would it be?

Crash: The amount of recess and phys. ed. time. More of both!
Bang: We don’t have to do work. We would play instead.

6. If you could change your name, would you want to and what name would you choose instead?

Crash: Luke, I guess.
Bang: Repooc

7. If you could build anything in the backyard, what would it be?

Crash: I would build a massive tree house that is significantly big with 3 stories.
Bang: I would build a wooden dog because I want a dog.

8. What’s your favorite smell?

Crash: Cookies or pizza
Bang: Bath bombs and mom’s perfume

9. Did anything happen in school to make you laugh?

Crash: Yeah. sort of… it was on the bus. Me and Matthew were sitting next to each other and we weren’t talking about real people, but we said if there were any girls who liked us but we didn’t like them we’d say, “here kiss my hand”.
Bang: Telling funny jokes on the teeter totter

10. What should we make a video about with the GoPro?

Crash: A video of me on my skateboard on a really big ramp at a skate park
Bang: Make a video about building Lego. I’ll build a windmill.

3583746-quotes-about-asking-questions

I Have My Glasses On

I had it a minute ago. I don’t know where it is now.

You may have noticed (but probably didn’t, but a million points to you if you did) that I changed my gravatar. That’s my photo that shows up everywhere I leave a comment. I changed it because I got my new glasses today. They’re orange.

That doesn’t mean I’ll be able to find stuff without asking DW. I swear, when I look for stuff it’s not where I look. As soon as she looks in the exact same location I did *POOF* whatever I was looking for is there in the exact spot was I looking.

It wasn’t there when I looked!

I’m convinced that she moves it so she can claim it was there the whole time. Or she’s a Jedi and enjoys playing those mind tricks on me. I’m more susceptible than a storm trooper to Jedi mind tricks. I can’t blame her, though. It would be fun to play mind tricks on me so I’m going with that option.

She’s a Jedi.

So now I have these new glasses and I still won’t be able to find stuff. It’s a genetic trait, unfortunately. My dad had it. I have it. Now, both Crash and Bang have it. I think they have it worse than I do. Must be the “mom curse” (thanks mom). Now I’m frustrated that I have to go show them whatever it was they were looking for is exactly where I’m telling them look for it. When they look, it’s not there. Hell, I’ve pointed directly at the item in question and the best they can do is spin in circles with their eyes closed.

“I don’t see it anywhere!”

I’ve had glasses for about 6 years. I discovered I needed them when I went for my physical for immigration to Canada. The doctor told me to read the chart with my left eye and I had no problem. Then he told me to read it with my right and the chart disappeared. I couldn’t find it even though I saw it a minute ago. Fast forward a couple years and I sort of kind of lost my first pair of glasses. It wasn’t my fault, though. DW and I were out kayaking with my aunt. It was a calm, quiet little river with lots of turtles and birds and a beaver someone mistakenly thought was a bear. There were also bugs. When one had the nerve to land on my ear I swatted it off.

I also swatted off my glasses. They disappeared faster than the Orioles hopes at a division championship. Somewhere on the Tuckahoe River there is a beaver with improved eyesight.

Sometime ago I flat out stopped wearing my glasses because the nose pads were pinchy. It felt like I was wearing a clothespin. This pair has plastic frames and are nice and comfy. They’re also orange. Like my hopeless Orioles. In the words of my brother-in-law, DW says I’m “peacocking”. Strutting my stuff and showing off my plumage. I’m sure I have feathers here somewhere, I just can’t find them at the moment.

“These aren’t the feathers you’re looking for.”

DW got new glasses, too. When I first met her (around the time the Cubs first won the World Series) she had these awesome burgundy, plastic frame glasses. I loved them and they made me fall in love with her too. I might have been the the Jedi mind trick, but I’m pretty sure it was her glasses. Anyway, she got a new pair, too. They’re purple. And they’re bi-focals progressives. I think this officially makes her older than me.

Lucy At Home

Go Ask Your Father: Germs, Hypocrisy, Large Kites, and Preservatives

I was thinking our family needs a dog. Not a puppy, they’re too much like babies and we’re done with babies. A certain doctor saw to that. But after seeing how much my boys don’t like dogs, I’ve decided not to get one. I mean, sure, they could use some lessons in responsibilities. They’d have the thing tormented and hot-wired for insanity. Plus they’re terrified of dogs. Big dogs. Little dogs. Tiny dogs. They run away. Just look at these two terrified kids tormenting this 8 week old lab/retriever pup.

20863698_10156450361952195_7334518764960415720_o

Nah… we don’t need a dog.

Do we?

1. How small are germs?

Like 6 year olds, they come in varying sizes. Our eyes can see things slightly smaller than the width of a hair. Except my hair. No one can see my hair. Thiomargarita namibiensis is large enough to see with a naked eye, but it lives on the sea floor off Namiba. Somewhere I’ll never find myself. Apparently, E. coli is kind of large for a germ (technically bacteria). If 30 of them got together for a block party we could see them without assistance. However, germs that cause colds need a gathering of 2,400 to be able to see unaided. That’s more than a party. That’s a protest. They’re so small because they get inside other cells and use them to make more germs.

rhinovirus

Common cold virus

2. What’s it called when someone tells me to do something but they don’t do it?

You mean like when your brother tells you not to scare him, then he goes and scares you? Or he tells you to use just a little bit of syrup on his pancake then they recreates the Caspian Sea on his plate? That’s called being a hypocrite. It’s defined as claiming to have moral values to which behaviour doesn’t conform. Kind of like when Reagan damned some air-traffic controllers who went on strike for higher wages and shorter work weeks by firing them. However, he was once the president of the Screen Actors Guild – American Actor’s Union. Or Henry David Thoreau who wrote exhaustively about saving the environment, but accidentally burnt down half a forest with an maintained campfire. Or your bother comes to tattle tale on you and get you in trouble even though he was doing the exact same thing.

3. How big was the world’s largest kite?

If you check out the Guinness record it states that Abdulrahman Al Farsi and Faris Al Farsi built and flew the kite at the Kuwait Hala Festival in Flag Square, Kuwait City, Kuwait on 15 February 2005. However, this is misinformation on Guinness’s part. While the kite dimensions are correct. It was 137.8 feet wide, 83 feet long and had a 25 foot ceiling inside. However, it was built by Peter Lynn of New Zealand. The Al Farsi’s hired and commissioned Peter to build the kite in the fashion of the Iraqi flag. Peter considered getting it changed. However, like a trip to the DMV to get your license changed, Peter considered the nightmare it was getting the kite recognized by Guinness in the first place, he didn’t think it was wise or necessary to try.

kite

This kite is larger than a common cold virus

4. What are preservatives?

Crash noticed that his Nanny’s homemade bread got mouldy long before the store bought stuff did. To preserve things means to keep them unspoiled, fresh, or maybe just remembered. We preserve food, jam, memories, and history. If you put things in air tight containers you can preserve food for longer. Zipper seal bags are great at this. You can make a PBJ sandwich this summer, put it in a zipper seal bag and save it for next summer. Tupperware is great at that, too. Like the two boys in Eerie, Indiana (TV show of the 90’s) who slept in Tupperware containers and thereby never aged. Calcium propanoate and propionic acid are added to breads to inhibit the growth of bacteria and extend the loaf’s shelf life. Both of these are naturally occurring chemicals in dairy products that is produced artificially. However, lecithin is a naturally occurring preservative found in soy and egg yolk and when it’s added to bread it will help keep it light, fluffy, and preserved.

Now add me like a preservative to your follow list on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

i-personally-stay-away-from-natural-foods-at-my-age-i-need-all-the-preservatives-i-can-get-quote-1

He Told Me Not To

A coach once told me that if a doctor ever tells you that you have only 3 hours left to live you should go to a mosquito (little league) baseball game. It’ll be the longest three hours of your life.

We were losing the whole game. We were always close, but always losing. After the 5th inning we were down 16-15. The 6th inning would be our last chance. The sun was on the horizon and once it dipped below it would get dark fast. I knew there was a chance we wouldn’t be able to finish. You can imagine my dismay when I saw their pitcher warming up. He was throwing with heat. Gordon Ramsey in Hell’s Kitchen kind of heat. Fastballs that I feared my mosquitoes wouldn’t be able to hit and we would be 3 up, 3 down and game over.

You can imagine my surprise when he loaded the bases with walks.

You can imagine my surprise again when we had suddenly scored 5 runs and found ourselves up by 4. I was watching the darkness creep up on us and knew we had to get the 6th inning over if were to win. You see, if a game is called on account of darkness the score reverts back to last inning that was finished. We were losing in that inning. We had 1 out against us and I quietly told my next batter to strike out so we could get this inning over. Unfortunately, she was hit. A bean ball that scored us a 6th run and put us up by 5. I told my next batter the same thing. He struck out, though not on purpose. 

2 outs and the sun was below the horizon now. We were playing on borrowed time. Twilight time. We had to end the inning pronto. I quietly approached my next batter and explained it to him.

Me: This is going to make no sense right now, but in order for us to win this game I need you to strike out.
Batter: So you want me to swing at everything?
Me: Yes

And he did too. One pitch sailed over his head. He swung, not even attempting to hit the ball. Our coach down at 1st base hollered to him to not swing at pitches over his head. I laughed because coach wasn’t in on our plan. He swung and missed the second pitch, too. He swung at the 3 pitch and connected solid with it. The ball sails like a runaway kite in hurricane out into right field. The batter stands on home plate simply watching it as if he were watching a ball game instead of participating in it.

The first base coach is yelling, “RUN! YOU HIT THE BALL! RUN!”

The batter is standing on homeplate pointing toward me at third and hollering back, “HE TOLD ME NOT TO!”

The right fielder throws the ball to first and the batter is called out. 3 outs. Change sides.

Bottom of the 6th now, we’re up by 5. I’ve got a pitcher throwing who usually throws zero run innings. It’s nearing 8:30 and it would be hard for me to argue to keep playing should the other team decide it’s too dark. I’m no lawyer. I probably couldn’t argue my way out of a wet paper bag. The other team does score one run. But we also make three outs to end the game with a win.

We won because of an almost strike out, because a hitter slugged the ball but stood still,  and because a team made it happen when it counted most.

Now swing on over to FacebookTwitter and Instagram and follow me round the bases…

strike out

Lucy At Home

How A Canadian Dime Stopped Traffic in Virgina

Today, here in Canadaland, we received a poorly timed rain. The Heavens opened above us during the second inning of Crash’s ball game and Bang’s ball practice. We tried to wait it out, but waiting wasn’t to be had. The rain was as relentless as the questions asked by children. The rain didn’t quit so we did. Called it a day, postponed the game. The parents and kids of Bang’s group soldiered on. They completed their practice. As my mom used to tell me, “You’re not made of sugar. You won’t melt.” Or, “Don’t worry, shit floats.” With baseball done for the night, everyone went home.

Except the Wood family didn’t go home. With the boys still in uniform and cleats, we went to Tim Hortons. The rain may have been dampening the world but our happiness was rising and swirling with the aroma of donuts and freshly brewed coffee. But I’m not here to wax poetic about a fast food coffee shop. 

We horked down our chocolate chip muffin and cookie and Tim Bits then, just as he always does, Bang went to man the door. Or more accurately, boy the door. He loves to play doorman and open the door for those entering and leaving. One time someone gave him a dollar. Another time someone gave him a coupon for a free donut. While the rewards are nice, he does it for the smiles. 

This evening he was given a quarter for his kindness. An American quarter.

Here in Canadaland, we use the same coins as our southern neighber. Granted, we have a couple extra, the loonie ($1) and the toonie ($2). Like our noisy neighbor, we also have a nickel, dime, and quarter. The coins of the two nationalities are interchangable here. No one takes notice when we use American coins.  

However, in the USA that isn’t always the case.

DW and I used to live in Virginia. It was a cozy, sleepy little hide-away town. The nearest pet store that had crickets to feed a couple anoles I had aquired was an hour and a half away. The return trip crossed a toll bridge. Realizing we didn’t have change or cash to pay the toll we stopped at a gas station to use the ATM. Turns out we only had $19 left in our checking account no access to our savings account because it was 1745 and there were no smart phones. We could not withdraw any of that $19 because ATMs only dispense twenties. 

All we needed was two dollars.

We scrounged around our car. Between the seats. Under the seats. In the glove box. In the center console. In the hatch. Under the spare tire.  It’s amazing all the places $2 will try to hide. We found it. We also found that toll booths don’t take pennies. Finally, after an a decade of hunting and gathering we hand over our change and wait with baited breath for the toll clerk to count it. This is when the cars started piling up behind us. 

She continues counting like she’s the fu*king Kingdom’s Master of Coin. Then she hands me back a dime. A God damn dime!

“I can’t accept this. It’s a Canadian dime.” she told us. We were down to one dollar and ninety cents. 

I explained that was all change, all the money, we had to give her. All we had left were pennies. We aready knew she didn’t want those either. Somewhere in the distance behind us a car horn honked. It could have honked all day, it wouldn’t have given us the dime we needed. Thankfully, by the grace of God, she waved us through. We were relieved to be allowed to return home. 

As were the thousands who were waiting behind us.

Never again did we cross that bridge without knowing first hand that we had the money to get back across it. 

Bang took his American quarter home and put it right in his wallet. He knows three more will get him a cookie from Tim Hortons.

Go Ask Your Father: Pizza, Condensation, Swimming lessons, and Wine

m26m_spokescandies

There are light ones. There are dark ones. DW likes the dark ones. There are big ones, and small ones. There are brown ones and blue ones and yellow ones and orange ones and green ones. Some have nuts, some have caramel, some have pretzels, some have peanut butter. Everyone has their favorite. There’s so much we can learn from a bowl of M&M’s. So much difference, so much deliciousness just hanging out in one place. If only the world were as friendly as your favorite bag of Ms.

1. When and where was pizza first made?

Who cares? All that matters is that we have pizza. I usually don’t trust people who don’t like pizza. It’s the perfect food. You can get your veggies. You can get your meat and dairy and grains. It’s the entire food pyramid on one perfect slice. Hot from the oven and you have a slice of heaven in your hand. However, where and when it came to Earth is much debated. First, you have to define what constitutes “pizza”. If it’s just a flat bread then pizza goes back to the ancient Babylonians, Israelites and Egyptians. If pizza is to have toppings then pizza goes back to the ancient Greeks and Romans who baked flat breads topped with olive oil and available spices. These days, though, we call that focaccia breads. The pizza we know and love with tomato sauce, cheese and stuff originated in Italy. It had been selling like hotcakes by street vendors. However, Raffaele Esposito from Naples is credited with the first pizza. Plagiarised pizza?

2. Why is there water on the outside?

That cup of ice cold Coke is sweatin’ like a pig in a bacon shop. Water puddles on the table at the bottom of my margarita glass. It’s because there’s water in the air. It’s hanging out there as vapor. All invisible and innocent thinking it’s the highest state water can exist in. Then it bumps into the cold glass. The sudden chill makes its molecules slow down and move closer together, like DW and I do in bed on a January night. When all those molecules collect (like the family in bed on Sunday morning) they form visible drops of water. We call it condensation. You can see it on the bathroom mirror after a hot shower. On your eye glasses when you come in from the cold. On glass of ice cold Coke or a frosty margarita.

3. Can we practice swimming again?

A friend has allowed us to use their pool. Found out today it’s 18 feet wide and 32 feet long and about 52 inches deep. This equals 359,424 cubic feet of cool, refreshing water. They love the company, we love the pool (and the company, too). They have 2 incredible granddaughters who the boys enjoy playing and swimming with. Their oldest swims like a fish, like our oldest. The first time we were invited to their pool, their youngest (4 years old) was just learning to swim. Today she was swimming to the bottom for the sinker toys like she was a dolphin. We convinced Bang he could do that, too, if he practiced. Off came his life jacket. Bang said he wanted to practice for 2 minutes. 30 minutes later and he was still practicing. Swimming is a life skill, especially for us because live on an island. By end of summer I predict he’ll be a dolphin, too. Good thing he likes fish.

4. What’s that wine called?

yt-moscato-263x820Remember that friend who invites us to swim in her pool? She give you wine to drink while your kids are swimming. This our secret spot so don’t bother asking. I’d have to kill you if I told you. Today, as a repayment, we took her a bottle of wine. The boys know we enjoy a glass of wine. That ain’t no secret. So they tell us when they’re 19 (the legal drinking age here in Canadaland) they’ll drink wine with us. The wine we chose to share today was a Yellowtail Moscato.

This [yellow tail] Moscato is everything a great wine should be – zingy, refreshing and easy to drink. Passionfruit and melon. Well chilled on its own or with spicy Asian-inspired food. ~ Yellowtail website

It’s good wine and I don’t even like melon. It’s slightly bubbly, slightly sweet, and when you’re poolside, it’s as delicious as a Raffaele Esposito special.

1ad4608d366f308522da22f147cce0dd-wine-funnies-wine-funny-quotes

Go Ask Your Father: Fitbit HR, AC/DC, Baths, and Aluminum Cans

In case you missed it this morning, I published yesterday’s Questions I Asked My Kids. Wonder what kind of animal hair Crash and Bang had?

To hell with the intro. Lets answer questions.

1. How does a Fitbit know your heart rate?

A tiny nurse fairy is packed comfortably in each one. I imagine she’s busty and her scrubs are a size or two too small. This is what I thought of while I on my last run. Except the fairy nurse was DW and it was Halloween. I’m sure she’s turning 50 shades of red now, but it sure helped me run faster. Alas, there are no sexy nurse fairies in your Fitbit. Just a flashy green light that uses a technology called photoplethysmography. It’s the same technology hospitals use in those finger and ear clips that also measure heart rates. My Fitbit tells me my heart rate is around 155 beats per minute when I’m running. I’m not sure if that’s from running or from imagining DW as my nurse.

2. What’s AC/DC?

92-high_voltage_symbolThey are what my boys call, The Masters of Rock and RollIt’s also my attempt to get them listening to the music I listened to when I listened to the music my parents listened to. AC/DC. Queen. Led Zeppelin. You know… that good ole rock and roll. AC/DC formed in 1973 in Sydney, Australia and are still playing. Their guitars are electric. Their guitars work on AC electricity. Alternating current is the kind of electricity that powers our homes and large rock concert arenas. The current flows both directions through the wire because of the magnet that is spun through coil of copper wire. With the poles of the magnet alternating as it spins so do to the electrons in the wire. Whereas DC, or direct current, supplies constant voltage and the electricity flows in just one direction. The battery in your favorite toy provide a direct current. The electricity flows out of one node, through the wires in your Buzz or Woody and back into the other end of the battery. And this, in fact, is exactly how the band got their name. Except it was from their sister’s sewing machine, not Buzz and Woody.

3. Why do I need a bath? 

Not me. I know I why I need a bath. I stink like a ass end of a fully loaded garbage truck. You, my sons, need a bath because you were playing in the dirt pile again. I’m not sure if you were playing in it or burying yourself in it. From the looks of it you must have been rubbing it all over yourself like Zsa Zsa Gabor puts on make-up. When you take bath, my favorite little dirt balls, please use soap. It’s kind of magical when it comes to removing the layers of grime you have caked on. Soap molecules have two ends. Lets call them a top and bottom (head and arse sound more fun, though). The top part is hydrophobic, it hates water and tries to get away. The bottom part is hydrophilic, it loves water. Remember that oil and water don’t mix and the oil rises to the surface? Well, the hydrophobic end of the soap molecule clings to that oil and dirt from your skin and become suspended in drops of water. When you rinse off, away go those water hating, dirt carrying molecules. Essentially, you make room for more dirt.

4. How much am I worth if I were an aluminum can?

First, I need to thank Antoniusrex for this question. He posed it in his latest post, Aluminum. I thought it was a fun question so I’m going to answer it here, too. Though slightly differently, and more in depth.

Here’s how I did the math…

I am 150 pounds (soaking wet). Google says there are 68,039 grams in 150 pounds (because there are 453.592 grams per pound). Today’s aluminum can weighs about 15 grams. If you do the division (but you don’t have to because I already did) that means I weigh as much as 4,536 aluminum cans. If you take that to recycling depot you’ll get 5¢, $.05, a nickel, per can. I’ll do the math for you again and 4,536 nickels equals $226.80. That’s barely enough to feed the hungry hungry hippos kids for a couple weeks. Guess it’s good that I’m not really refundable. I’m pretty worthless if I were. My Fitbit says my heart rate is 59 so I know I’m not an aluminum can and I will therefore Keep Calm and Be Human.

keep calm and rock on