Where did we leave off? Oh, right. I was set up in the entryway to the storage shed. I had positioned myself just above the depression that led underneath the shed. I suspected it had been created by a raccoon.
When you go fishing, you want to try to match your bait to what the local fish are accustomed to eating. I suspected the same was true for trying to lure small, furry animals. So, before taking position in what I considered to be the perfect vantage point, I retrieved some food scraps from the garbage. Don’t judge me. I was trying to catch a raccoon.
I also made sure to bring along an assortment of different-sized diapers. I’ve never personally measured a raccoon’s hiney parts. I suspected the average raccoon was a 4T-5T, but I was prepared with sizes ranging from newborn to 6x. Let me clarify for some of the parents out there that the assortment I brought included diapers (smaller sizes ) AND pull-ups (larger). You can never be too prepared.
I figured the best time to arrive at my stalking position was just before dark, as I’m well aware of the fact that raccoons are simply nocturnal trash pandas. My plan was to arrive before dark while the furry garbage bandits were still asleep and to catch them when they ventured out for their first meal. The opening to the shed is oriented just slightly enough towards the west so that the light from the setting sun turned my perch into something that looked like an inspirational-as-shit ninja movie. I stood in the shed, mentally preparing myself for what lie ahead, repeating my internal mantra to myself… “I’m about to try to put a diaper on a raccoon…. I’m about…to put a diaper…on a freaking raccoon…. LET’S DO THIS!!!!!”……….
All motivation gone. Freaking mosquitoes. I’ve lived in Texas long enough to know that if enough mosquitoes group together, they can and will carry you away and offer you up as a sacrifice to The Texas Mosquito King. At first, it was a risk I was willing to take. But, as the mosquitoes became more aggressive, I was certain I would have to abandon my quest and settle for the pureed baby fart reviews. Just as I was preparing to abandon my post, I heard it. The Rotten Refuse Robber sounded as if he (or she?) was following what I assumed was its customary route towards the entrance/exit of its Bandit Cave. This was it. The moment I had mildly prepared for. I readied my Raccoon Acquisition Device (a tinkerbell pillowcase we were going to throw away) and stood in the shed doorway directly over the hole underneath, my cat-like reflexes primed for action.
Time slowed. The first thing that came out of the hole was a cluster of whiskers, then a nose. I pounced. I can’t begin to express how fast my cat-like reflexes are. Dare I say, they are almost mongoose-like. Before even I realized it, I was diving head-first, Tinkerbell pillowcase open, falling towards the fast-approaching ground and my future diaper-wearing raccoon. Then, whilst mid-air, my brain began to catch up with the adrenaline-fueled dumbass that it was supposed to be controlling and started broadcasting alert messages on all frequencies. Raccoons are supposed to have black and gray faces right? Hmmm. The creature I was plummeting towards most definitely did not. Its face was more reminiscent of old-man ass– bald, ashy, angry. I thought I read somewhere that raccoons had furry tails as well. Interesting. This creature seemed to have no hair on its tail. Welp. Too late. I’m committed. Then, from the furthest recesses of my brain I heard “POSSUM!! THAT’S A POSSUM, DUMBASS!! POSSUMS ARE VICIOUS!! YOU ARE ABOUT TO BE VERY, VERY HURT!!”
The acquisition of my aforementioned cat/mongoose reflexes came with a diminished level of hand-eye coordination. I overshot what I now realized was a Possum by about 4 feet. At first I thought this was a lucky mistake and that the slick-tailed anger weasel would freak out and retreat to its dungeon. I had faceplanted in the grass just beyond the possum and, due to my graceful faceplanting abilities, ended up on my stomach in a semi-pushup position face to face with a pissed off mutant rodent.
Anger Weasel Supreme did not retreat. It let out a quick grunting noise and freaking charged. I let out a noise of my own. It was very high-pitched and resembled a scream.
Did you know that possums are fast? If there was a pissed-off rodent olympics, possums would gold-medal the shit out of sprinting. At this point my cat/mongoose reflexes had packed their shit and skipped town. I did the only thing I could do from the semi-pushup position I was in– I rolled away. Talk about awkward. Oh, what’s that you ask? My self-defense mechanism? I prefer the Tuck and Roll Technique. Gets em every time.
Everybody knows about Stop, Drop, and Roll. But, for some of you who may not remember, you’re also supposed cover your face with your hands while you’re stopping and dropping and rolling in order to protect your face and/or airway. I figured maybe this tactic would be effective against Enraged Violence Vermin so that’s what I did. I covered my face with my hands and rolled to safety. You know what would make this tactic even MORE effective? More high-pitched girly screams. I rolled across the yard towards the girls’ swingset, a small citrus tree finally stopping my forward progress. Realizing that I was out of rolling real estate, I sprung to my feet and took off in a full wind-sprint across my back yard. Direction and destination didn’t matter at that point, only survival. I soon realized that the white blur I had just passed was the back door to the house. Finally! Safe harbor!
Then I decided to do that thing that teenage girls in horror movies do (not screaming, I was still doing that). As I reached for the door knob, I looked back to see just how close my pursuer was. I looked at the ground directly behind me, fully expecting to see a rapidly approaching Vengeance Weasel but, to my surprise, it was gone. Still in horror movie mode, I looked up. I actually checked the roofline above me to see if Danger Rodent had magically grown wings and was perched above me, ready to make a meal out of its newfound girlish man-prey. I told you I was in survival mode. Fight or Flight means all logic goes out the window. And, let’s be honest, logic had left a while ago.
Finding no Perching Possum Gargoyles, I turned the knob and went inside. I walked into the living room where my wife was sitting in a recliner, reading something on her phone. She glanced up just long enough to survey the dirty, sweaty mess of a husband before her, let out a subdued giggle, then turned back to her phone. Without glancing up again, she informed me that I was bleeding. At some point during The Great Rolling Thunder Escape of 2017, I had either bumped or rolled into something sharp and cut my leg. I reached in my pocked and retrieved a Pampers 3T that had survived the trip. I ripped the sides open and applied it to my wound.
My review of Pamper’s Dora the Explorer Pull Up Size 3T is as follows–
Very effective for dressing possum-related wounds.
In an effort to promote the new website, I decided to do a product review. I’ve never done a product review before, so I googled exactly how to go about accomplishing this. Adventure time!
The first suggestion recommended by the Google was to review a product that you’re familiar with. I have four kids. The most obvious choice for a product to review would obviously be child-related. Bottles? No, that wouldn’t work. Some of our kids were breastfed. Baby food? Well, that would mean I would probably have to taste some of it myself. No thanks, I’m not in the mood for pureed squash. Have you ever smelled that stuff? Smells like baby farts and regret.
What to do what to do…..
Wait a minute. I have four kids. What do they all have in common? Diapers. I’ve spent a small fortune in diapers over the past eight years. I’m certain that I have single-handedly made Pampers stock rise at least a point and a half. That sure is a nice summer home Mr. H.G. Pampers (not sure if that’s the guy’s name. Sounded good). You’re welcome, Diaper King.
Diapers it is then. Next, the Google Machine says that I should put the product through its paces and record the results. What the what? A diaper is designed to do one thing– hold processed food and drink from tiny humans. I assure you, Mr. Google, that we are well aware of the design specifications of a diaper. But a review like that would be boring. So let’s REALLY challenge these diapers.
I began to form an idea. My wife could see the wheels turning in my head. Just as she began to speak her words of caution, it came to me. While she was saying something about “you’re gonna get hurt” and “my mom was right about you” one of those light bulb moments happened. What if we test the durability of the diaper under extreme conditions? My kids have two speeds– sleep and lightning bolt. The diapers we put them in have held up to most reasonable demands. But I think we can do better than that. The goal is to test a product to its extreme so that you know it’s prepared for “normal operating condition.” That’s when it came to me.
What if we tested it on a raccoon? I know that animal testing is usually frowned upon but come on. It makes sense. Think about all the ways a raccoon is just like a toddler. Angry? Check. Smelly? Check. Sometimes found covered in garbage? Motherflippin check that shit!
Okay so the first thing I needed to do was catch a raccoon. I wasn’t going to tell my wife the plan yet mainly due to the fact that I thought she would try to steal my idea but also because I wasn’t prepared to be reminded of how big of a dumbass I was.
We have a large storage shed in the back of our yard. There’s a depression under the entryway that, judging by my recently google-acquired knowledge of raccoon sizes, appears to have been dug by an adolescent raccoon. Or one of my daughters. But I’m an optimist so I’m going to say raccoon. The plan was to get in my best ninja outfit, set up in the entryway of the shed just above the whole, throw out some bait, and wait for my opportunity to strike. It was foolproof. FOOLPROOF I TELL YOU!
Mornings in our house aren’t for sissies. A typical day in our house begins with a declaration of parent vs. child war, usually in the form of our 4 year old either falling or jumping from the top steps of her bunk bed, Wrestlemania-Style. The girls’ bunk beds are located in the room directly above my wife and I, so we get the full surround-sound intro to the Great Show. From the noises coming directly above us, my wife and I were pretty certain that the Mano-A-Mano Title Bout above us has devolved into what sounded like a Twelve-Man Royal Rumble. Apparently, the winner of the Royal Rumble was also required to perform approximately 283 wind sprints from one side of the second floor to the other before they were allowed to eat breakfast. It sounded like an angry octopus wearing combat boots doing cartwheels up and down the hallway.
The wife grabbed a broom handle we keep next to our bed for just such occasions and started banging on the ceiling to the let the performers upstairs know that the bout had been scored and it was time for their post-victory breakfast. The Second-Floor Combatants descended the stairs and met us in the living room, their hunger obvious on their faces. As is customary, my wife began taking requests for sustenance from the Cage Match Trio. Our eldest daughter, Kaylee, has an obsession with honey buns, so naturally that’s what she wanted for breakfast. An easy enough request due to our extensive knowledge of the eating habits of our children. Our middle cage-match contestant, Aimee, asked for cereal. No wait, pop tarts. No, nevermind, cereal. Ok, pop tarts. So we gave her a pop tart. Covered in cereal. Just to be safe. Then came little Lucy. Lucy had time to carefully consider her request while her older sisters put in their orders with Café Dé Mom and Dad. Yet, when it came time for her to speak up, she looked to us as if she wasn’t sure whether she should say what she was thinking. Being the sensitive, reassuring, supportive, good-looking parents that we are, we told her that she could have whatever she wanted.
French fries. She asked for french fries for breakfast. And I was….strangely okay with it. Now, for those of you who consider yourselves breakfast connoisseurs and/or child nutrition experts and might have an opinion on the nutritional value of french fries for breakfast– shut up. Sometimes you have to make french fries for breakfast because A) it’s an awesome request and B) I’m kind of upset that I never considered it.
We don’t believe in spoiling our kids. They are well aware of the work vs. reward concept that we try to follow and they’re honestly pretty well-behaved and hard working for their young age. As I’ve said in previous posts, we’re not only trying to raise good kids– we’re trying to make great adults. But sometimes you just need to let your kids be kids. I love the imagination it took to specifically ask for french fries for breakfast. And, while it probably isn’t surprising that a two-year-old would ask for french fries for breakfast, it reminds me of just how different kids view the world around them. Her mentality is “french fries are awesome and delicious. Why shouldn’t I be able to eat them whenever I want to?”
So, while my wife got the pop tarts, cereal, and honey buns I fired up the deep fryer and busted out those crinkle-cut pieces of potato awesomeness and made my baby some mothertrucking french fries for breakfast. I might have eaten some too.
What a world we live in where we have to be reminded by a toddler to take pleasure in the little things. That’s why, despite the constant barrage of noise and glitter, I’m thankful for the unwavering uniqueness that is our house– Noisetopia.
Maybe I haven’t explained how the Kingdom of Noisetopia works. You’re going to have to follow along carefully as I’m going to attempt to explain it as thoroughly as I can. In all honesty, after 10 years even I’m not entirely sure how it works, but we’ll give it a shot. Ready? Here goes….
I am the self-appointed “King” of Noisetopia. That would make us a Monarchy, I think. But, we also have the Queen and the four Princesses so that would make us…nevermind. Google says that’s also a Monarchy. However, we regularly refer to our daughters (especially Aimee) as “Drama Queens” so I think that constitutes some kind of nobility via appointment or something. And having multiple powerful rulers would make us an Oligarchy.
I like to think of myself as the last word in the house. What I say goes, I’m right, you’re wrong, eye of the tiger, blah blah blah. So that would make this a Dictatorship. However, I have recently come to suspect my wife only let’s me think I have the last word. Ultimately I just end up doing whatever she says anyways. So I guess that would make us a Puppet State. Then again, most of our decisions are based off the good of the people (daughters) so that would make us a Republic. But, those same people we are trying to help often express that they could do a better job without us so that would make us an Anarchy But these same tiny humans that seek to overthrow us also need our money for things like food and shelter, so that would make us Anarcho-Capitalist. So then the Queen and I reiterate that it’s our house and our rules so that would make us an Autocracy.
In actuality, the Queen and I usually have no idea what we’re doing and are still suprised that there wasn’t some kind of test to become a parent. Apparently, they’ll let just about anybody do that. And considering our distinct lack of qualifications, that would make this a Kakistocracy which translates to “government by the worst.”
Then again, I also live in a house with 5 other women, a girl dog, a girl rabbit, and fish that I’m like 90 % certain are also girls. So this would definitely be a Matriarchy.
As the girls grow up, they start to earn more responsibility (read: chores). This means that with demonstrated talents and abilities (i.e. Kaylee is tall so she gets switch out the laundry) they get appointed to certain positions within the government, such as Laundry Switcher Outer. That would mean we’re a Meritocracy.
While it may look like the Kingdom of Noisetopia is all-powerful and self-sufficient, we actually operate under the debt-riddled sponsorship of other corporate-run states such as The Kingdom of Walmart, The Entergy Nation, The United Mortgage Kingdom, and The Soveriegn Auto Finance States. This definitely makes us a Corporatocracy.
When the Princesses complain about not getting a new toy or not liking what we’re having for dinner, we like to remind them that if they don’t like it they can use their own money to pay for what they want. Until then, we (the Queen and I) have the money and we make the rules. So we’re a Plutocracy.
Ultimately, we’re trying to raise our kids not to be great kids, but to be great adults. There is a plan, however convoluted and disjointed, to have our children grow up to be productive, loving, loyal, and respectful members of this great Nation. So this could be a Futarchy (based on the idea of planning an outcome, then figuring out how to achieve it.)
Maybe we should just come up with a new term for what Noisetopia is. Something that says “we’re in this together, all of us.” Something that clearly defines all of those unclear characteristics and chaotic happenings that come with raising kids. Or we could just call it what it always has been. A family.
Side note: there is another term that describes a government that is completely run by goats. Yes, goats. The kind that eat grass and climb on things. It’s called a Capracracy. And, for some reason, I feel like that describes Noisetopia the best of all.
Personalities. Everybody has one. Some people have more than one. But that’s a conversation better left to a psychologist. Or is it psychiatrist? I always get them mixed up. The doctors. I always get the doctors mixed up. Not my personalities. I don’t have multiple personalities. Wait, why is this suddenly about me? What the hell were we talking about?
Oh, right. Personalities. I have four daughters and it amazes me how different each of their personalities is. You would think that the same people doing “sexy time” would result in at least somewhat similar offspring. But “nay” I say. Let’s go on an adventure, shall we?
The wife and I were straight-up spoiled with our first child, Kaylee. She was so easy. She hardly cried. When she was hungry she would wake up and grunt at you. That’s about it. She slept more than a teenager on summer break. Her dirty diapers weren’t overly aromatic. And her general demeanor was more of a polite roommate rather than screaming, milk-hungry anger potato. About six months into our first child’s life, I thought to myself “this childcare thing is easy. What the hell does everyone keep complaining about?” And I’m pretty sure I may have verbally expressed this sentiment to at least some of our friends who were also parents. Now, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I know now that whenever I would brag about how easy our child was or how much she slept or how her dirty diapers didn’t smell like a hobo’s unwashed ass, our friends would silently pray to the god of child personalities for swiftly-metered justice upon us.
Well, friends– your prayers were answered. The best way I can explain our second child (Aimee) is this– someone decided to make a sticky gremlin with beautiful hair, an internal music system, and a nuclear reactor. Then, when it came time to install the speed limiter and volume controls, the guy on the assembly line showed up drunk, broke off the handle, shit on the floor and went home. For the first six months of her life our second child didn’t sleep more than half an hour. Her dirty diapers were quickly confiscated and classified for weapons research. And the volume at which she cried has been described by NASA as “an effective way to drown out all that pesky rocket engine noise.” Prior to having our second child, I cried twice during my life. Once when I dropped a case of beer and every bottle shattered and again when our first child was born. Then I was introduced to our second child and developed a totally-made-up condition called “Exhaustion Crying.” It’s a combination of mental breakdown, bleeding from the ears, and singed nose hairs. I would like to say that I, King of Noisetopia, being of sound mind and squishy body, do declare that I am sorry for bragging about how easy our first child was. Our second child showed me the light. And the noise. And the funk.
The anticipation with our third child, Lucy, was immense. I remember a conversation I had with my wife just after Lucy was delivered where we discussed which of the two previous girls’ personalities she would have.We were like two superstitious baseball players. We didn’t want to hope for anything too specific, because then it wouldn’t come true. However, internally, I was definitely hoping for Lucy to have more of the calm and gentle demeanor of Kaylee, rather than the Tazmanian She-Devil personality of Aimee. After a few months Lucy decided she was going to sample a little bit of each personality and just intermingle them as needed. That, she thought, would keep shit REAL entertaining. Lucy developed into a bit of an enigma, calling forth bits and pieces of her older sisters’ dispositions depending on what her given situation required. If she was getting in trouble, I would get the sweet, loving little girl who I could no longer comfortably scold because look at those big eyes she’s so cute and look how she’s pouting oh my god I’m such a mean father let’s go get some ice cream. Other times, she called upon her inner-Aimee rage strength to open a bag of chips we said she couldn’t have or knock one of her sisters over when they talk too much smack. Her personality is kind of like eating taco bell. Yeah, it’s awesome right now, but you’re probably not gonna be too happy with it later.
It’s hard to say what the new baby’s personality will be. She’s starting off a lot like Kaylee. She doesn’t cry that much and her diapers aren’t overbearing. She’s a week old now and she’s honestly been one of the easiest—- Oh crap. I’m bragging again. Please, no. I didn’t mean it.
Due to the associated costs of having three crumb-snatching noise gremlins occupying the second floor of our house, I decided to seek a return of investment in the form of entertainment.
Just before bedtime, all three of our freshly bathed–yet still somehow sticky–Princesses of Noisetopia were playing in their rooms. I yelled for them to come downstairs and listened as they apparently each grew 37 individual jackhammers for legs and started down the stairs. Seriously, how do children that small make sounds that loud with their legs? I am convinced that we have two rooms on opposite ends of the second floor. These rooms are only known to our children. The sole purpose of these rooms are for the transference of the 400 head of cattle that we apparently own from one of the rooms to the other room and back again. They only use these rooms when we’re not up there and only for as long as it takes to make us start yelling.
Anyways, the Three Hairdos of Noiseville are now standing stone-faced in front of me, the look of big-haired bewilderment on each of their faces as they await the reason for my interrupting the Great Barbie Fashion Show of 2016 that was taking place in their rooms.
Let me preface what I’m about to type by stating that we love our daughters. They are seriously the best thing that has ever happened in our lives. One of the reasons we love them is for their unwavering uniqueness. Our oldest daughter, Kaylee, is the logical problem solver. She relies on supplied facts to form predictable outcomes. She likes structure and reason. Our middle, Aimee, is a freaking hippie. She is a party looking for a place to happen. That child could have a good time at the dentist’s office. Then there’s our youngest– Lucy. Little Lucy is a squishy-faced bundle of giggles who– for reasons I still can’t comprehend– always smells like maple syrup. She seems to have personality traits of both of her older sisters and can employ them to best affect her current mood and situation.
Now, keep all of this in mind when you follow along with the rest of the story. If there’s one principle I’ve tried to instill in our girls’ heads, it’s that hard work and dedication will probably be overshadowed by procrastination and blind luck. Of course I’m just kidding. However, we do believe in the basic principle of hard work equals reward. So I propose to The Fair-Haired Maidens of the Second Floor that whoever can complete the quest for the object I seek will be handsomely rewarded for their tireless efforts.
So I send them on a mission to find….wait for it….a Gigalator. For those of you that are unfamiliar with what a Gigalator (pronounced GIG-UH-LATER) is, it is the name of the freaking object that you freaking need but can’t freaking remember the freaking name of the freaking object but it’s right on the tip of your freaking tongue. Gigalator is not a word that my girls have heard and I observe (very briefly) the confusion on each of their faces before they each begin to attempt to honor my request in their own style.
Aimee has disappeared. Or teleported. I can’t be sure. Her competitive streak is so great that before I can finish my request she has used her hippie/hair powers to move faster than any small child should be able to move in order to get upstairs to begin the search for the elusive Gigalator. Kaylee, however, remains in front of me, her head tilted at a slight angle. I can tell from the expression on her face that she’s forming follow-up questions. She starts with a question we often ask her when she can’t find her shoes– where’s the last place you saw it? As I begin to answer, Kaylee is suddenly shoulder-checked, hockey-style, by a now-returning Aimee. Aimee throws a Dr. Seuss book in my lap and proclaims herself the righteous victor, dancing and twirling in her success to a song heard only by her. Kaylee collects herself off the floor as I break the celebration-ending news to Aimee that the book is not what I’m looking for.
And, like a flash from a camera, the physical form that was Aimee is gone in an instant. I’m now certain that Aimee was almost completely back upstairs before her hair caught up with her.
Now my attention is focused back on Kaylee. She begins to scan the living room, looking for anything that could possibly be described using the word Gigalator. She still hasn’t moved from in front of my chair. It seems she’s waiting for me to take pity on her and provide her with a hint. However she does slightly angle her body in anticipation of the returning whirlwind that is her younger sister.
Speaking of younger sisters, my attention turns to Lucy. In the confusion, Lucy has abandoned the quest altogether and sits near the fireplace having an animated conversation on a Dora the Explorer cell phone. Apparently she had more important business to attend to than menial searches for fictional objects.
I can see the desperation on Kaylee’s face. I’m about to speak when I catch movement out of the corner of my eye. Aimee has returned with her next submission. She is approaching my chair at approximately three times the speed of light, and I’m almost certain she’s going to completely blow past me and her sisters, continue through the wall, into the neighbors yard, and then eventually stop somewhere in California. But then, with nothing in her way or near her, she faceplants. She tripped over air. It’s not the first time it has happened. It’s just science. When your feet are moving that fast they can actually break the space-time continuum, and your feet from the future get tangled with your feet from the present and you faceplant.
Aimee picks herself up, checks herself for any obvious injuries, and continues to my chair to submit her next candidate for Gigalator. She hands me three pennies and a plastic fish. My brain begins to attempt to comprehend the logic of the 4-year-old in front of it but then decides to sit in the corner and rock back and forth.
After I collect my thoughts, I decide to give the girls a hint. I tell them the Gigalator is the thing with the green and blue on it. I know. I’m a genius. At this point they both turn their attention to the toy box in the living room, each of them equally certain they now know what I’m talking about (I don’t….it’s a made-up object). Kaylee continues to the toy box, but Aimee abruptly makes a 90-degree turn, activates her afterburners, and returns to the second floor, the back blast from her jets knocking the phone from Lucy’s hand.
Kaylee digs through the toy box for a moment then, in a scene reminiscent of Indiana Jones, holds a toy high above her head, the light from the window behind her transforming her and the toy into an ominous silhouette. She brings the toy to me and I’ll be damned if it isn’t something that I would call a Gigalator. It’s some kind of green and blue octopus with suction-cup feet and a gaping maw for a mouth that apparently shoots out bubbles. As I am about to award Kaylee with the victory, I hear a sonic boom descend the stairway. Aimee turns the corner at the bottom of the stairs and I can see the maniacal look of satisfaction that can only be felt by someone who is certain of an undisputed victory.
Aimee presents her third and final candidate for the Gigalator. It’s a sock. I can’t be sure if it’s a right sock or left sock but that doesn’t matter at this point. It’s a white sock. And Aimee, in her hippie logic, has applied green and blue marker to it in order to satisfy the requirements of the competition.
I sit, contemplating the objects in my lap, the multi-colored sock on one side and the octopus on the other. The expression on the face of the octopus now seems to be mocking me as if to remind me that I did, indeed, bring this upon myself. Two little girls stand before me, patiently waiting for the announcement of a victor.
I declare the competition a draw, reward all parties with a bowl of ice cream, and quietly dispose of the rainbow sock….
I recently had a very tense standoff with an angry 4-year-old regarding what she considered to be an important life event. The wife was working that morning and I was in full Daddy Daycare mode, which meant that my main mission for the day was to make sure my kids didn’t die and, if they were lucky, to make them at least one meal. Well lucky for them I was ready to cook the shit out of some cereal and/or pop tarts to make sure my babies started their day with a meal of questionable nutritional value.
We sat and ate our Cuisine Dé Noisetopia and talked about what to do that day since we were without adult supervision (my wife). I looked over at my middle child and noticed her thousand-yard stare. This usually indicates that she’s either trying to form a question in the sweetest way possible in order to ensure I give her the answer she seeks, or she’s plotting ways to make one of her sisters’ impending injuries look accidental. Lucky for her sisters, the look on her face quickly translated into a verbal request for the day’s activities.
Prepare yourselves. This is a direct quote from my child. She said she wanted to go to “the rainbow fun slide place with the magic frog place when we got sonic and I guess we killed it because it was a cheetah……”
Go ahead. I’ll wait for you to process that.
Welcome back. Now, my memory isn’t what it use to be, but I’m like 94 percent certain that that string of events has not yet occurred. At least not while the kids were under my semi-watchful eye. I’m guessing I took too long to answer because my middle daughter let out an impatient sigh, letting me know that she was STILL waiting for a response. So, I told her that I wasn’t quite sure what she was talking about. You would’ve thought I told her she had more boogers than usual on her face. She threw her hand face-up on the table and stared at me with an open mouth and raised eyebrow, as if to say “how can you not remember this magical event?”
So she restated her request, this time more aggressively and in a manner that, honestly, made me think that I was about to go fisticuffs with a four-year-old. And I’m not entirely confident that I could have won. When I met her repeated request with a similarly-repeated blank stare, she offered some clarifying information. She let me know that the place she was talking about was in her dream.
I must be some kind of monumental dumbass. How could I, a Certified Professional Child-Taker-Carer, not have realized that the place she was talking about was an entirely fictional product of her imagination that I had never actually heard about or seen? I should be ashamed of myself.
It’s funny how kids can so vividly intertwine their dreams into reality. I think it’s something that we lose as we grow up, which makes me hate growing up even more. Then again, it might be both a blessing and a curse to be able to rip your dreams from the confines of your own mind and bring them forth to active consciousness. And that’s something I can explain with another story about a kid having a dream.
Our friends have children that are just about the same age as ours. Their 5-year-old woke up recently to find that she had an accident during the night. Our friends were mildly concerned because this particular child had a very easy time potty training and there had been no accidents since switching from her Disney Princess Pull-Ups to her “big girl panties”. On occasion, our friends had even noted the sound of their daughter’s bedroom and bathroom doors opening consecutively in the middle of the night when she felt the urge to go. So, good mom that she is, our friend asked her daughter why she thought she had an accident. To which she replied “I had a dream that I peed in the bed and when I woke up, there was pee in my bed.” That’s it. It was that simple. Dream translated to reality.
This recent turn of events led to my own dream-versus-reality event. A few nights ago, I had a very complex dream where I was kidnapped by an upstart sideshow and forced to fight bears. Not one bear. Bears. Plural. And MAN could these bears fight. Wave after wave of these furry bitches charged me. Halfway through the battle a team of pandas tried to flank me. I squared up with both of them and did the “come here” hand gesture– you know, the one that Morpheus does when he’s fighting Keanu Reeves in The Matrix. Well, while these crafty bastards had my attention, OUT OF FREAKING NOWHERE, a big ass polar bear puts me in a headlock from behind. Completely helpless, the Panda Brothers began pummeling me relentlessly. And the whole time all I can hear is their vicious growling and snarling and snorting. Just as the walls closed in, the larger of the Panda Duo got in a solid shot to my ribs, which jolted me awake. At two-thirty in the morning my eyes opened, and I could feel my wife staring at me. I could also feel the anger rays that she was directing my way. I started to tell her about my crazy-ass dream when she interrupted me with “do you have any freaking idea how loud you were snoring?” To which I informed her that I did not, in fact, know how loud I was snoring because I was too busy fighting bears. To which she informed me that she had yelled at me several times trying to wake me up when– her attempts unsuccessful– she elbowed me in the ribs. Upon gaining this new information, I realized that the snarling of the bears was a combination of both my snoring and my wife yelling, and the final vicious blow by Panda Brother Alpha was, in fact, a cleanly placed People’s Elbow to my rib cage by my loving wife.
I’m almost certain there’s some bullshit inspirational message in there somewhere, but it escapes me at the moment. So, for now, I’ll leave you with this– “If you want your dreams to become reality, the first thing you have to do is wake up.”
The wife, the kid, and I just got done doing a nickel (that’s 5 days for you good, Christian folks) at the Memorial Hermann Maximum Security Infant Birthing Center. Let’s talk about that shit-show, shall we?
The wife and I just recently (about 9 months ago, give or take) decided that sanity was for sissies. We thought, if we can barely keep our shit together with three kids, why not up the ante and go for maximum chaos with another? So we did that thing that grown ups do (you know what I’m talking about. Don’t make me say it. Pervert) and got pregnant with our fourth child. I won’t bore you with the events leading up to our mandatory stay in Infant Max, but let’s just say that it was a wild 9 months. I will tell you this– the pitching speed of a pregnant woman in the third trimester increases exponentially when you factor in just how stupid the thing was her husband just said.
Fast forward to our recent internment at Infant County Correctional. It started out the same as the first three deliveries. My wife checked into Super Infant Max by herself after calling me at work to tell me the birthing process had begun. I raced to the house and grabbed our “go bag”. Those of you that are parents are familiar with the “go bag”. But for the non-parental readers, a “go bag” is a collection of essentials, usually prepacked in a suitcase, that you bring to the hospital when it’s “zero hour” to make your incarceration more bearable. Our personal “go bag” included items like our favorite toiletries, comfortable clothes, some snacks, fruit and sugar for making toilet hooch, and writing material to communicate with your associates on the outside. I’m kidding about those last items. Or am I? Plot twist.
I arrived at the hospital just after my wife had been assigned to a room and the nurse had administered the first round of drugs. I tried, yet again, to request some of the drugs for myself but no luck. Stingy bastards.
The majority of delivering a new offspring consists of waiting for your wife’s body to be ready to push the baby out. This is something we were familiar with given our three previous convictions for Aggravated Sexy Time Resulting in Pregnancy. Like I said, everything was “normal” up until it was time to push. That’s when we discovered the first personality trait of our newest minion. She was what doctors refer to as “stubborn as shit”. During the three previous deliveries, “pushing” was the shortest part of the entire process. It usually only took about 30 mins of hard work and determination on the part of my wife until our children exploded forth in all of their gory glory, greeting the world with the signature Noisetopia middle finger. However, thanks to our newest daughter’s flair for the dramatic, after two and a half hours of pushing she hadn’t moved at all. I’m not exaggerating when I say that either. She hadn’t moved. Period. No progress despite ample encouragement from all concerned parties. So the decision was made to perform a c-section.
For a “non-emergency” c-section, I’m almost certain the doctors performing it were going for a hospital record. From the time we wheeled my wife to the operating room to the time I brought our infant daughter back to our cell, approximately 2 minutes and 13 seconds had passed. Ok, NOW I’m exaggerating. But it was fast. Faster than I thought it would be. Mom and baby were back in the room and resting comfortably and we were all looking forward to a couple of days of getting to know each other and letting the baby review our parenting credentials. That was the plan, anyways.
Now for the shit-show.
Without going into much detail, I’ll tell you that because the baby had spent so much time in the birth canal, it had some negative effects on her blood work and general demeanor. Her prison tats would have to wait until she was stronger. And, because the baby had spent so much time in the birth canal, it had some negative effects on my wife’s blood work and general demeanor. She went ahead and got her prison tat. But, just in case you were worried, my blood work and general demeanor remained acceptable. So what was supposed to be a couple days of easy time turned into a rollercoaster of manual labor. My wife and baby played a game of tennis between their vital signs. One would be stable enough to be released on good behavior, while the other had time added to their sentence for shanking someone in the lunch line. What we predicted to be two or three days turned into five. We were finally released when my wife and baby decided that a truce between their two sides would lead to peace and prosperity in the community.
We got to come home this afternoon. I’m currently typing this in my office (read: small desk in our messy bedroom) and listening to the sounds of a new member being welcomed to the family in the next room. Despite all of the turmoil of the past few days, this moment is what we did it for. The girls alternating between eating their frozen pizza and arguing over who gets to hold the baby next. Just remember– it’s okay if the journey is rough, as long as the destination is everything you hoped it would be.
In the words of the late, great President Abe Lincoln– “We better hide that panda’s body”.
No, wait….that’s not the one I’m thinking of….
I think it’s– “Let’s take off our pants and do this dance”.
Welcome to Noisetopia. I am the self-proclaimed Supreme Overlord of this respectable shit-show I call “Being a Dad”. I’m here to tell you– you tired, you hungry, you huddled masses of exhausted parental units– it’s going to be okay. By no means am I an expert. I have had plenty of screw-ups during the brief time I have been the father of four beautiful little girls. There have been moments of doubt, moments of rage, and moments of complete and undeniable head-scratching confusion. But there have also been moments that (cue the touching orchestra number) have turned a grown man into a teary-eyed blubbering mess and moments that made me laugh until I thought I was going to pee in my manly pants.
This is the first of what I hope will be many awkward yet amusing posts on this blog. I realized recently that I’ve pretty much been doing a blog on my personal Facebook page. Then some friendly neighborhood Facebook acquaintances encouraged me to start a blog. I feel like the word “blog” is kind of boring and hipsterish. And while I would LOVE to keep referring to this as a “shit-show”, I know that some of the people that read this material would rather I not use that language (looking at you, Mom). So let’s call it Noisetopia. It’s our own magical kingdom where we can share in the joy and misery of raising children. And get a few laughs in at our kids’ expense along the way.
Not all of the things that are posted here will be universally accepted by the masses. That’s understandable. My style of raising children isn’t for everyone. So if I write something that personally offends you, just know that in the deepest, most sincere part of my being…I don’t care. The material on this site is for entertainment purposes only. If you read something that you don’t like, please remember that it was written by a high-school educated, unpolished, exhausted father who considers it a resounding success if he can watch the children while Mommy works without something in his house being destroyed by fire.
We’re going to start the festivities with some previous Facebook posts. Partly because I think they’re hilarious and partly because I’m too tired to write anything new. By the way, I’m currently typing this from the hospital room where my wife and newest daughter are being held under observation. Daughter is here because she was just born. Wife is here because the doctors are trying to figure out exactly how she shoots lasers out of her eyes. I told them it only happens when I piss her off.
So strap yourselves in, folks. It’s going to be a fun ride. If you like what you see, please feel free to drop a comment or share to your Facebook page. I would say share us on Twitter but A) I don’t have a Twitter and B) When I looked up Noisetopia on Twitter, it looks like it belongs to some kind of music production company/emo hipster band. So there’s that….