Go Ask Your Father: Hemroids, Sphincters, Constipation, and Seat Belts

It’s been steady going around here. In the last two weeks there should have been 10 days of school. There were only 3. Six of the seven missed days were because of snow. The seventh (today) was because there was a province wide teacher walk out strike. Thousands (I heard 20+ thousand) gathered outside of the Province House (where provincal legislation takes place). According to news reports the demonstrators (teachers and those who support them) were so loud that those inside the building couldn’t hear each other at times. 

#TeacherStrong to make the classrooms better for the students.

Plus all the snow, which was good snowman snow…

Notice the pine needle hair?

What are hemorrhoids?

Simply put, they’re a pain in the arse. According to Google they are a swollen vein or group of veins in the region of the anus. They’re similar to varicose veins. They are often caused by an increase in pressure during pregnancy (or labor) or from a strenuous bowel movement. Sometimes that can feel like labor, too. If they’re inside your rectum (I love that word because it sounds like wrecked ’em) they’re called internal hemorrhoids. If they develop under the skin around your stink eye/one eye’d pirate/starfish they are external hemorrhoids. Most times they are just uncomfortable and cause itching, discomfort and bleeding. Other times a clot forms which will need to be lanced and drained. I apologize if you are eating while reading this. I suggest you put your fork down until this post is over…

What makes our poop come out?

Simply put, muscles, but not the kind you can flex and admire in the full length gym mirror. In more specific terms it’s your digestive system. A series of tubes that connect your mouth to your anus move food along until there is nothing left but waste. The movement within the tubes (esophogus, stomach, and intestine) is called peristalsis. It looks like a wave moving through the muscle. The waves narrow the tube propelling it’s contents closer to the light at the end of the tunnel. Your colon collects the shit waste that wasn’t absorbed by the intestine. After a day or so a good bowel movement expells it for a hole in one. 

Why won’t my poop come out?

Constipation. Kinda like writers block. When your poop become hard and dry you’ll have a rough go trying to pass it. It may feel like it’s the size of a bus. In the words of Bang, “No wonder it hurt. It was HUGE!” It could have been from eating too much fatty, sugary, or starchy food. A little more fiber (fruits and veggies and whole grains) should soften it right up. Perhaps it was from not enough exercise. The extra movements help move food through your system. I doubt it was from that, though. The culprit may be a lack of fluid. But with the rate at which I’m buying milk, I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it either. Stress can cause backups, too. With recent events, that’s definitely a posibility.  Could it be IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)? He has complained of belly pains before. IBS can cause diarrhea sometimes and constipation at other times. It also causes pains and farts. “Do I rot?” is a common question…

How do seat belts work?

One of these questions ins’t like the others. You can continue eating now. The shit’s over. 

The first thing is the buckle. Click it or ticket as we tell the kids. Buckle up for safety. When you put the buckle into the clasp, the hole in the buckle catches on a tab. Pressing the release button releases the tab and out pops the buckle. Inside the belt system is a retractor mechanism. This spool winds and unwinds any loose webbing (the seat belt). Inside the retrator is a spring that applies rotational force, or torque, to the belt. This is why when you pull gently to buckle up the belt unrolls smoothy. The locking mechanism inside the spool locks the belt and keeps it from extending when a sudden motion is applied. The webbing of the belt is specifically engineered to help you survive an accident. It can stretch which slows your forward momenum gradually instead of instantly like the dashboard or windshield would. It’s estimated that seat belts save 13,000 lives in the US each year. That’s why I never put it in drive before I hear all the clicks. 

Go Ask Your Father: Fat Lips, Vision, AEDs, and Undertows

Happy Thursday night or whatever time of the week it happens to be for you when you’re reading this. I’m settling in getting ready for yet another snow storm. School was cancelled Monday because of snow. It was cancelled Wednesday because of ice. It’s likely the kids will be home to drive me nuts again tomorrow because of more snow and ice. I’m putting them work if they’re home tomorrow!

Why do we get fat lips?

chapped-lips2You can tell a lot about a person by looking at their lips. You can tell if they’re wearing lipstick, for instance. You tell how big their labial tubercle (that bump in the middle of the upper lip) is. And women, did you know the bigger your labial tubercle the easier it is for you to achieve orgasm? You can also tell if they’ve been in a fight. When the soft tissue of the lips is damaged it becomes inflamed and swollen. This creates what we all know as a fat lip. Bet you never look at lips the same way again.

Beside getting a taste of a knuckle sandwich, fat lips can also be caused by dehydration, an allergic reaction, from a food allergy, or sunburn.

How do eye glasses work?

DW and I are nearsighted (myopia). She wears her glasses all the time. I have a tendency to lose mine. One pair is at the bottom of a river. Being farsighted simply means that our eyes do not have adequate focusing power. In other words, the focus point falls behind the retina instead of on it. Farsightedness (hyperopia) is exactly opposite – it forms a focus point in front of the retina. So eye glasses and contact lenses redirect the light so that it focuses the image on your retina so you see a clear picture.

sight

The top image shows how light focuses on the retina.

What’s an AED?

While ice skating yesterday, Bang noticed an odd looking box attached the wall outside of the ice rink. Naturally curious he wanted to know what it was. It was an AED or Automated External Defibrillator. Automated because all a user needs to do is follow audio commands connect adhesive electrodes to the patient and from there the computer takes over to check for a pulse and heart rhythm. It will only deliver a shock if it detects a heart that is in ventricular fibrillation (Vfib), when the heart beats with rapid, erratic electrical impulses. This causes pumping chambers in your heart (the ventricles) to quiver uselessly, instead of pumping blood. The shock momentarily stuns the heart and gives it the chance to resume beating effectively. Essentially, it turns it off and turns it back on it again to restart it.

What’s an undertow?

Not to be confused with rip currents, an undertow occurs in all bodies of water where waves crash on shore. It’s strongest in surf zones where the waves are larger. After the wave rolls onto shore gravity pulls back toward the ocean and the water rushes back out collecting in the next wave. This outward rush of water and the inward rush of a wave creates an undertow. They are only dangerous to those who can’t stand against the backwash (outward rush of water) like children as the undertow only goes out to next incoming wave.

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Questions I Asked My Kids

These kinds of posts usually happen on Thursday. They’re my rules so I can break ’em if I want to. I feel like I’ve been watching education systems fall apart. DeVos, who has no experience in public schools and various other major skills, has become Trumps Education Secretary. Here in Nova Scotia, teachers are in their 3rd month of a work to rule strike because classroom conditions no longer meet students’ needs. But those are posts for another time on another day. Today we need a smile and a laugh. Who better to look to for that laugh than a certain 5 and 9 year old. Crash and Bang can deliver a laugh faster than a Superbowl commercial. 

1. How fast can you run?

Crash: I’d say… fast. 15 miles an hour
Bang: A million miles ahead of a car

2. Where does snow come from?

Crash: Comes from rain. Rain gets cold then it falls as snow.
Bang: Clouds

3. Why do birds fly?

Crash: So they can get around easier 
Bang: To get to their home because walking would be too slow

4. What’s something Guppie (their grandfather) always said?

Crash: I’ve got a surprise for you (Kindereggs)
Bang: I’m going to make stew

5. What is something that will remind you of Guppie?

Crash: His cottage, throwing rocks, teaching us how to curse
Bang: About talking to Nanny Sharon, throwing rocks, snuggling under the warm (electric) blanket, and lots of money – he gave me lots of money.

6. Can you tell me a story or a dream you had?

Crash: I had a dream. From that TV show Ghost Adventures except it was me and my friends and not the guys on the show. Rocks were being thrown horizontally at us from nowheres. I sat next this guy and felt this draft of really freezing cold air around us.(Guess we won’t be watching that show again)
Bang: I was playing on the new Nintendo Switch and I was playing Yoshi’s Wooly World and I got hit by a big ginormous metal spider robot.

7. Why does Dad love Mom?

Crash
: Because she’s beautiful and funny and has a great sense of humor
Bang: Because she’s his wifey

8. Why does Mom love Dad?

Crash: Because he has strong muscles
Bang: Because he gives hugs and kisses

9. How many TimBits can you eat?

Crash: one jillion ten thousand nine hundred ninety nine
Bang: 3,001

10. How do you know Mom and Dad love you?

Crash: Because they let us stay up late, they feed us supper, put a roof over our heads and give us clothes
Bang: Because we snuggle.

Parenting vs Baseball

It’s America’s pastime.

Even though I live in Canada, I’m not really a hockey fan. I don’t have a favorite team. Kids in schools ask me, “Who do you go for?” (translation: Who’s your favorite hockey team?) I always give the same response just to see the shock on their face. “I don’t watch hockey.” I usually have to pick their jaw up off the floor. After a few minutes they regain the use of their voice.

My favorite sport to play is soccer. Those hockey kids in school know this from all my days subbing in their gym class. Otherwise, baseball is where my loyalty lies. Particularly with a certain black and orange bird.

We’re now 11 days from pitchers and catchers reporting to the warm climate of Sarasota Springs, Florida. We’re also 25 days from their first spring training game against the Pittsburgh Pirates. Argh…

This means we’re also not far from our friendly, family rivalry as DW and Bang are Blue Jays fans.

All this talk of baseball makes me want to compare the game of baseball with raising a family…

1. Training

It’s all about creating and moulding the best team possible. Mind you, I won’t get fired for having too many losing seasons, but I’m still responsible to do the best with what I’m given. Just as the players are responsible for improving their game, we’re responsible for being better than we were yesterday. Perhaps it’s teaching the kids a new skill they need for school or sport or life. Perhaps it’s improving ourselves to be better at whatever it is we’re trying to improve upon. We’re always striving for the next homerun…

2. Patience

There are roughly 150 pitches thrown by each team. Some crazy level of patience is needed to get through the 3+ hours it takes to deliver all 300 of them. Multiply that by 162 games per season and you’ve got 48,600 pitches to watch. When kids are throwing temper tantrums, you’re spouse isn’t paying attention, and you’re afraid your house is so messy it’ll appear on the next episode of Hoarders, you need patience. Though, unlike baseball, parenting isn’t a summer game. It’s all day, every day with no hope of winning a world series and the pay sucks.

3. Coaches

A baseball team needs lots of specialities. There are managers who oversee the whole shebang. There are also pitching coaches, hitting coaches, bench coaches, bullpen coaches, first base coaches and third base coaches. A household works much the same way. I’m the cooking coach. Not because DW can’t, but because I enjoy it more. DW is the paying bills coach. Nobody likes that position. I’m the cleaning coach because I’m home more often. DW is the snuggle coach because she’s so snugly.  

4. Bases

Speaking of bases… 1st base is kissing. 2nd base has something to do with boobs. I’m fairly confident that you can figure out 3rd base and a homerun. Without the homerun, without “scoring”, we wouldn’t have the families we have. No kids, anyway. May you all hit homeruns tonight without gaining extra players on your team…

 

It’s Like Pulling Teeth!

Our baby isn’t a baby any more. He can dress himself. He can feed himself. He goes to school. He can read, write, and math. He can wipe his own butt.

Nothing shouts, “I’m not a baby anymore!” louder or more clearly than when they lose their first tooth. Where once they had a dazzling smile full of pearly whites, they suddenly have gaps big enough to fit a hockey player through. 

Mind you, when they smile at you and you see their missing teeth you can’t help but smile back. Their smile might become even more contagious than ebola.

Our baby had (notice the past tense) two, technically three, loose teeth. Two of his front teeth were fused together. Behind those two fused teeth was his big kid tooth coming through strong. He resembled a shark with a second row of teeth. The problem was that his big kid tooth was pushing his baby tooth forward instead of upward. It also seemed to be making the baby tooth next to it wiggly as well. Concerned that his tooth wouldn’t come out properly we called our dentist to have a look.

Watching Curious George on a tv mounted on the ceiling


I gotta give the kid props. He was excited to go to the dentist. How many people do you know who actually look forward to going to the dentist? Zero? And yes, he’s been to the dentist before. Twice before, actually.

Up in the chair he went. Around his neck went the bib. In came the dentist. He took a couple measurements of his teeth and the space in Bang’s mouth. He also noticed that the neighboring wiggly tooth was due to a second big kid tooth starting to push upward, though it hadn’t broken through yet. Then he gave the verdict…

Yep, they both needed to come out. Technically, all three since one is really two. He gave Bang the option. We could do it ourselves at home or he could do it there in the office. Bang opted to let the dentist remove them. Bang knew he’d be numbed. He wasn’t worried.

At first.

The dentist rubbed a numbing ointment on his gum first. Once that took effect he used a stronger numbing agent in needle form. Again, Bang was okay. I asked him if he wanted my hand and as best he could with his mouth numb and wide open he told me no.

Then the stronger numbing agent took effect and spread a bit as it was intended to do. That’s when he began to worry. The hygenist ask him if his lip felt like a bump. He responed with, “It feels like a big hill.” Needless to say, he didn’t like it. There may have been a few tears, but the dentist and hygenist were great with him and fed him constant reassurances and wiped his tears. I held his hand and talked to him. 

Then the teeth were pulled. I don’t even want to imagine the pain that would have been felt had his mouth not been numbed. The baby teeth were carefully placed in a tooth shaped container for him to bring home and leave for the tooth fairy.

I bet the Tooth Fairy leaves me a thousand dollars! 

Yes, we have a tooth fairy here. We also have a tooth guardian. It’s thumbsize pewter turtle with a guardian riding its back. The top of the turtle’s shell can be removed to place the pulled/lost/missing/yanked tooth for the fairy to find. 

Tooth Fairy pays well for first lost teeth. She pays even better when it’s two (technically three) teeth. And because he was such a trooper at the dentist, the Tooth Fairy also located the truck he (we) ordered on Amazon a few weeks ago that came this morning. 

I can’t wait to see and hear his reaction in the morning. It’s going to be as priceless as this smile…

Yes, he wore a tie to school today just because he wanted to…

Go Ask Your Father: Dictionaries, Weekends, Playing, and Airplanes

How long does it take to make a dictionary?

Though it’s writing began in 1857 it’s first volume wasn’t published until 1884. It was estimated to take 10 years to complete but took 70 when a 10 volume edition was published in 1928. This is about the same amount of time it takes me to get DW’s to-do list done, aka the honey-do list. The second edition, twenty volume Oxford English dictionary contains 171,476 defined words. That’s almost as many words as a chatty, world pondering kid can say at bedtime. 

Is it the weekend?

It most definitely is. It’s the time of sleepovers, staying up late, and not sleeping in because kids never sleep in. However, it wasn’t the weekend at the time of this asking. It was a school day. Bang was either looking for a few more minutes of sleep or to sleepover in either his brother’s bed or at Nanny’s house. Most of the time he enjoys his sleep. We normally have to wake him for school. His brother is destined to be a farmer because it’s up at 6 am, sometimes earlier. I saw a FB quote that goes something like this: As a kid I couldn’t understand why parents wanted to sleep so much. As an adult I don’t understand why kids are never tired.

Who’s going to play with me?

Poor Bang. Nobody loves him and he always has to play all alone. Note sarcasm. Sometimes we build a hotwheels races track. Sometimes we play Mario Kart on the Wii. They boys especially love this because they laugh their little heads off when DW swears at her racecar. Sometimes we play Bug Trails. It’s a fun little matching game and I don’t even have to let him win. He beats me fair and square! Sometimes I call “Not It” and I go cook supper. Or I call “Bedtime”. Or I delegate it to his big brother. He’s been tired and cranky this week so playing with him has felt much like petting a porcupine.

Can an airplane fly with no roof?

DW and I watch Mayday, a show on the Discovery Channel that show how and why planes have crashed. While it’s informative and entertaining, it’s also nerve wracking. We have flown numerous times and it makes DW even more nervous to fly. I find it consoling knowing that these issues have happened in the past, they were thoroughly investigated and solved so they don’t happen again. Besides, statistics show that it’s safer to fly than to drive. In one recent episode we watched part of the roof of the fusalage ripped off. 

The plane landed safely and the only fatality was a flight attendent who flew out of the plane when the roof departed. If you remember once upon a time, planes were built with open cockpits. But a plane that’s supposed to have roof and suddenly doesn’t can continue to fly so long at the remainder of the fusalage can handle the stress load and the drag isn’t too great. It’s the wings and tail that provide the lift. Drag (the wind pushing on the plane) will slow the plane down. So long as the plane flies at speeds greats enough to provide sufficient lift, it will carry on soaring with the birds. Other planes have lost parts of it fusalage or cargo doors yet the entire plane went crashing down because it’s drag was so great it couldn’t get lift. DW and I both agree that it would be fun to investigate plane crashes, though it would be disheartening to know that what we were investigating may have caused many to die. I, myself, would love to learn to be a pilot!

Questions I Asked My Kids: Would You Rather…

So apparently I’m doing this blogging this all wrong. DW shared an article with me about a lady who is making over $50,000 a month with her blog. A MONTH! I’d be happy to make that in year, let alone 30 days. She also spends 40-60 hours a week on her blog. I might spend 7-10 if I write every day. 

1. Would you rather drink lemon juice or eat a cricket?

Crash: Drink lemon juice
Bang: Eat a cricket
Mom: Drink lemon juice
Dad: Eat a cricket 

2. Would you rather have stupidly huge hands or huge feet?

Crash: Huge hands
Bang: Huge hands
Mom: Huge hands
Dad: Huge hands

3. Would you rather have your grandmother’s hair or her first name?

Crash: Her Hair
Bang: Her hair
Mom: Her hair
Dad: Her name

4. Would you rather be the best player on a team that never wins or the worst player on a team that never loses?

Crash: Worst player on a team that never loses
Bang: Best player on a team that never wins
Mom: Best player on a team that never wins
Dad: Best player on a team that never wins

5. Would you rather have feet for hands or hands for feet?

Crash: Hands for feet
Bang: Feet for hands
Mom: Hands for feet
Dad: Hands for feet

6. Would you rather be blind or deaf?

Crash: Deaf
Bang: Blind
Mom: Deaf
Dad: Deaf

7. Would you rather be horrible at a job but get paid alot or be perfect at a job and get paid a little?

Crash: Horrible at a job and get paid alot
Bang: Perfect at a job and get paid a little
Mom: Horrible and get paid alot
Dad: Perfect and get paid a little

8. Would you rather be able to only whisper or only shout?

Crash: Shout
Bang: Shout
Mom: Only whisper
Dad: Only whisper

9. Would you rather give up electronics or junk food?

Crash: Junk food
Bang: Junk food
Mom: Junk food
Dad: Junk food

10. Would you rather have an elephant trunk for a nose or a giraffe’s neck?

Crash: Elephant trunk
Bang: Giraffe’s neck so I can go through the ceiling
Mom: Elephant trunk
Dad: Elephant trunk

I encourage you to ask your family member these questions. Bonus points if you can guess their answer!

Hmmm…

Have you ever wanted to write?

Have you ever wanted to just sit and sling so much wisdom and insight that your readers were left more amazed than a Cirque de Soleil audience?

I have numerous (26) drafts in my draft folder, but I don’t feel like writing about the state of our education system. That’s already been covered and really, there isn’t much I could say about that to leave people with the feeling of amazement. My blog is 92.5% centered on parenting as I tend to write about the boys, Crash and Bang. But they’ve frustrated me recently and I don’t feel like writing about them either. There’s nothing amazing about the piles of ice about to rain down on us sometime tomorrow. Except maybe the pictures. I’ll save a thousands words by posting pictures of it tomorrow. 

I want to write something so amazing you’ll be left sitting in your chair slack jawed and gasping for breath. It’ll be so brilliant you’ll need to wear sunglasses under a welding visor. 

But I got nothin’.

Not a flicker.

Not a spark.

Not a thought worthy of a hangry toddler.

Have you ever wanted to spew soliloquy so splendidly, but the only words you’re spewing are synonymous of a lactose intolerant infant after breasfeeding? Have you ever wanted to shine like the light of a thousand dessert suns, but came up with nothing more than the universe’s largest, blackest hole? 

Me, too.

Go Ask your Father:

Bang insisted on deep conversation this evening over fish, broccoli, and smashed potatoe supper. Where did the universe come from? Who were the first people on Earth? Can you think when you’re dead? Sometimes I’m not sure I’m the one who should be answering his questions. I do the best I can. Naturally, answering his question will create three more questions. 

Why do we swallow?

During a recent ride in the RAV4 Bang was fed up with constantly having to swallow his saliva. I wouldn’t allow him to spit in the truck, either.  I told him he had to swallow his spit so he wouldn’t choke on it. He also had to swallow food so he wouldn’t starve. To make matters worse, I added that he has to swallow liquid so he wouldn’t die of thirst. Said food and drink is technically called a bolus. Our tongue pushes food and drink to the back of the mouth where the pharynx moves it along to the esophagus which will deliver to our stomach. During this process the epiglottis (our airway) closes so we don’t asperate or suffocate.It came up again at suppertime. Food, apparently, takes too long is way too much work to swallow one bite at time. He wanted his supper in his stomach and it was to get there immediately.

What’s that blue planet?

I was nervous because I was afraid he wanted me say “Yer-Anus” (I say “Yer-uh-nus”) fortunately he was thinking of Neptune. Unfortunately, I don’t remember why he was asking. Discovered in 1846 (about the time I entered first grade), it has 14 moons and 5 rings. It appears blue because of methane found in its atmosphere. Even though it’s smaller than Yer-uh-nuh it has a greater mass because of it’s heavy atmosphere. It’s atmosphere encloses layers of water, ammonia, and methane ice while the core of the planet is rock. When I Google what methane smells like all I get are results that include sewer gas. Neptene smells like a sewer. Thank God it’s 2.7 billion miles away.

Who farted?

Around here it could have been anyone. We don’t have a dog to blame it on, either. Birds don’t fart, so we can’t blame Piper. Most likely it was Crash. He’s proud of the gas he passes. Though, Bang can be equally proud, he’s more of “Can I sit on your lap?” then fart and leave kind of kid. Ammonia and hydrogen sulfide, two gasses created in the intestine during food digestion, are the culprits behind the stench that makes us gag, makes our eyes water and peels paint off the walls. Don’t be surprised if you get called a flappy-arse if you’re ever heard farting within our house.

Who’s going to play with me?

Mr. Needy likes when people play with him. He’s not so good at entertaining himself sometimes. The basement is creepy for him. He doesn’t like the blinky lights on the wireless router. He also doesn’t like how quiet it is. Never mind the amount of noise he conjures up while playing. It wakes the dead. So when he asks, “Who’s going to play with me?”  we all look at each other. If one of just played with him we’ll play the “your turn” card. Sometimes I’m able to play the “I’m cooking supper” card. Most times someone will go entertain him. Trucks. Lego. Mario Kart on the Wii. Trains. Racecars on the Hotwheels track. There are endless possibilities. Until someone farts and smells worse than Neptune. Then it’s game off. 

You know a relationship is serious when you can fart in front of the other person.

Being God

Perhaps Jesus was God’s son. Perhaps Jesus was God himself. Either way, it is said that when Jesus walked our mortal Earth he was a worker of miracles. He could make the blind to see, cripples to walk, dead to live. I’m not here to preach to you though.

Then it came to me…

We parents are God, too. Think about it…

Jesus healed the sick. We know that having a sick child is miserable for everyone. So we do everything we can to make them better. Snuggles. Cool baths. Medicine. Lots of sleep. A trip to the hospital to see a doctor if warranted. We bestow upon them our powers of healing. Granted, it’s not as instantaneous, but still, we, too, heal the sick.

Jesus clothed the poor. From their very first breath outside of their mother’s womb we put clothes on our children. We plan what outfit they’ll wear home from the hospital. We buy clothes month after month after month after… as they outgrow outfits faster than they can put them on. WTH? They just tried on those pants at the store and they outgrew them on the way home! And our kids are dirt poor so they need us for clothes.

Jesus fed the hungry. Sometimes with fish and garlic bread. We feed the hungry, too. Sometimes with hotdogs and macaroni and cheese. Sometimes with pizza. Most times with veggies, we hope. We can’t keep food in the house. “Can I have a snack” soon evolves into “I’m hungry” which eventually becomes a shortened grunt, “Imungry“. They eat a full meal and minutes later they come back looking for a snack. They seem to eat their way through a dozen grocery bags of food on the way home from the grocery store.

We may not have all the patience of The Shephard, but we do what we can for our little sheep. We heal them, we clothe them, and we feed them month after month, year after year whether they worship us or not.