Friday, December 21, 2012

End of the World - The 19th - 22nd Hour

This day has not turned out like I expected.  I'm about ready to call it quits.  I have started taking down my my signs.  No more "MAYAN Safe House Not YOURS" signs.  No more "I survived 12/21/12 and all I got was this lousy sign" signs.  No more "In case of apocalypse knock here" signs.  No more "'I'll give you one guess as to what YOUR civilization and the MAYA civilization have in common.  Please answer before midnight." signs.  This is just the worst!

Yeah, I'm glad the world is still here.  Blah , Blah, Blah! But this is just a wasted day.  And on top of all of that, my family and friends are making fun of me.  They are all posting messages to my social media sites telling me of all of the fun things they are doing and that I'm not.  I'm getting posts and tweets and pics showing and telling me about how big of a mistake I made.

They might be right.

I don't even have the kids with me.  My wife told the kids to come back into the house.  It's past their bedtime and that they can play "fantasy apocalpyse" with daddy tomorrow night.  Now isn't that just a smack in the face!  Oh, well.  Such is life.

Hope is fading.  We have a 2 more hours left.  I have closed my Facebook.  I have subtracted my Google+.  I have muzzled my Twitter.  I have delayed my Instagram.  Basically, all I have left is this blog.  If something does happen there will need to be log of events.  So, I'm still writing if you are still reading.

End of the World - The 16th - 18th Hour

I forgot to play my game of Madden.  Even though the world is going to end I still have a responsibility to the league.  The world can crash in but I don't want to be the holdup of my friends from playing their game.  It was a little tricky.  I wanted to play but I didn't want to be too far away from my safe house.  We are getting too close!  So I had to put the TV back in the house.  But I put in the window like we used to do with Jam Boxes when we would break-dance back in the day.  I had to put the Xbox near the house as well to get a signal.  Then I took my wireless controller about as far away from the XBox and I could toward the entrance of my safe house.  It worked!  And it goes to figure that the last day on earth and I finally win a game.  At least I went out on a good note.

After that was done, I took the TV and XBox back.  And since my wife is still at work I decided to take some other things.  I took some books and videos.  I only took the important ones....

  1. The third book of the Hunger Games Trilogy: Mockingjay.  I HAVE to find out the conclusion of all of this mess in Panem.  I've devoted too much time reading this series to let a little thing like the end of the world stop me now.  I mean, what would Katniss do???
  2. How To Balance A Budget - Brought to you by the members of the US Congress.  This book is FULL of details on how to manage your money.  It even has bonus chapters on how to manage OTHER people's money when you run out of your own.  I know money means nothing in a world of chaos but I want to be prepared.
  3. I downloaded the Gangnam Style video to my phone.  I must learn this dance.  It's not too difficult.  But I can't get it.  Now I have years to get it right.
  4. The Revised How to Win Friends and Influence People - Revision by Kim Jong-il and his son Kim Jong-un.  It does my heart good to see a father and son work together for a book so important as this.  I might cry.
  5. Justin Bieber: Just Getting Started - This is the epitome of memoirs!  The follows the humble start and rise of one of America's greatest icons.  Just reading his gems of wisdom earned through months and months stardom.  I can't wait to read part 2 of the Trilogy when he talks about his 20s.
I think those books should keep me busy for a little while.  I might grab a few more books later.  But right now I'm just focusing on the important things in life.  Things that will pay dividends if I make on the other side of the Apocalypse of 2012.

End of the World - The 14th - 15th Hour

This watching for the end of the world is exhausting.  The sitting around... doing nothing... just waiting.  I want to take a nap but the closer we get to the end of the day the more likely there is something will happen. And just like the first part of The Avengers I might miss it. (Nature called.  I answered.  End of story. But I do have to get the DVD just so I can see what happened during the first 30 minutes of the movie.)

I have surfaced a few times to see what the rest of my friends are doing on their last day.  Almost ALL of them are doing what they would have been doing if the end of the world notion had never came to be.  I feel so bad for them.  They have no idea what is about to come.  They should have listened.  But when the action starts happening I will be the one laughing.  Well, me and the little ones.  Also, my oldest.  She has joined the ranks of the BELIEVERS.  Honestly, I think she didn't have any other plans today so she's gracing us with her presence.  Either way, it's fine.  It's good to have more company here.

I also recruited my dog.  They always say that animals can sense supernatural as well as nature sensitive things like tornadoes, earthquakes and mass extinction.  So I took him in to give me a better warning so I'm not just sitting around in constant anticipation.  Since bringing him down here, though, all he has done is sniff everything and pee on half of the things he's sniffed.  He just lays around licking, scratching or moves around marking territory.  I told him he will not have to compete with other dogs but he just kept in peeing like he doesn't understand a word I'm saying.  So basically... he's acting the same as if nothing is going to happen.  I might need to get another dog.  Mine seems to be broken.  I guess it won't matter in a few hours.

Oh, well.  The nap idea sounds pretty good right now.  If we can just hold the END off a few hours I won't have to be upset that life doesn't have a DVR rewind button.

End of the World - The 10th - 13th Hour

I gave up on the whole kicking the kids out of Eden 2 thing.  For 1, what kind of new world would there be without kids? Also, my wife chose to go to work as if nothing is going to happen.  (She's tempting fate and she's on her own with that.)  And lastly (the most important reason), I kept kicking them out, they kept finding their way back in!  It was crazy beyond words.  Finally, I decided it was just easier to let them stay than to fix all of the issues.

Plus, it was too perfect in here.  I needed something in here to defy me.  I needed something here to tell me NO.  I needed conflict.  I needed my wonderful, beautiful little girls with me. And so I have them. I might intensify the conflict in a little bit because my 7yo is already bored and wants to play XBox. This never works well. She hates losing. I mean REALLY hates losing. And I never let her win. I'm too competitive. So is she. She even gets mad at me when we play a game on the SAME TEAM and I score more points... for BOTH of us.  So it's just a BAD idea all around. Almost as bad as me packing Raisin Bran in my enclosed safe house. But I'm going to throw caution to the wind with this Xbox thing as well as the Raisin Bran (different wind with the Raisin Bran though).

We'll see how this goes.

End of the World - The 3rd - 9th Hour

Ummm.... What had happened was... I was watching, waiting and listening for any signs of doom.  I diligently checked my processes.  I did test runs of my emergency procedures.  I worked on everything I had been preparing for to make sure nothing went wrong when the time came.

Then I fell asleep.

But that single act gave me some perspective on the whole ordeal.  Because some way or some how my 4yo  found a way into the safe house!  How do little kids do this???  She came in asking me for some food.  I spent all of this time and money to make an impenetrable fortress (at least that's what it said on the kit) to survive the end of of the world and I was duped by a 4yo.  Either I did a very poor job or 4yos are above planning and ignore processes and procedures completely! I'm thinking the latter.

Whatever it is I need to fix it soon.  Because, as my old high school principal used to say, a chain is only as strong as its weakest link.  And my 4yo has exposed a weak link somewhere.  And this issue is like a levee.  First there's a trickle then there is a deluge! First the 4yo (trickle) got in then the 7yo (deluge).

I'm going to work on this issue.  Just like in the first Eden, there are no children in Eden 2.  I will keep you posted.  But first, apparently, I have to fix some kids some breakfast. Smarshmellows (that's not a typo) and bacon.

End of the World - The 2nd Hour

AGAIN... another false alarm.  So I'm back at the main house again using the internet as if an ELE (Extinction Level Event) is not knocking on our door.  What is going on here???  All of the signs were there. We've had some major signs.  We've had some devastating floods.  Still no end of the world.  We've had some major earthquakes.  Still no end of the world.  We've had Obama re-elected... and despite secular  opinion... Still no end of the world.  All of the signs are in place!  What's up?!?

I'm still not willing to give up on this.  I really just came back to the house to grab my XBox and the family TV.  Yet again, another slight oversight in my safe house.  (The wife and kids are going to be completely surprised when they wake up in the morning.  If there's a world to wake up to.)  I must stay the course.  I will have to move forward if I'm to make sure the human race is to survive such a crossroads in the history of known life.

It is currently quiet but I feel this is the calm before the storm.  I'm not only grabbing the TV and the XBox, I'm also taking some Ramen.  When I left for college just *ahem* 2 short years ago, my parent gave me a microwave (crap, I need to grab the family microwave) and some Ramen.  That stuff NEVER goes bad!  My parents knew that.  And since I can't stockpile Twinkies (darn you Hostess!!!) I guess I will have to settle for Ramen for my long-term meal solutions.  (My second choice was Raisin Bran.  But after the last few days of eating Raisin Bran... I don't think my new living situation is prepared for such a action-reaction type of food.)

Either way, I have to get this stuff and run.  The wife and kids (or as I shall refer to them as the NONBELIEVERS) might wake up with all of the noise I'm making.  I'm trying to be quiet but wires, cables and plastic wraps on food are not cooperating.  Hopefully (or not???) this will be my last post as all of my hard work will come to fruition.  See ya on the other side, Mayas!

End of the World - The 1st Hour

Well... That was a little disappointing.  I mean that in a good way.  It was sorta anticlimactic.  I was expecting explosions and natural fireworks and floods and wind (we DID get wind) and hail and tornadoes and thunder and lightning.  And.... nothing.  I should be happy about that.  But that means all of that money I spent building the safe house underground with a steel plated titanium shell just went down the drain.  So, I'm actually a little upset.  I'm probably more upset with myself because with everything I put into the safe house I forget to equip it with the internet.  I had to leave the safe house just to write this.

I was a little worried leaving my new home I dubbed Eden 2.  But since I didn't hear or feel anything I figured it was ok to run all the way back to the main house to get on the internet.  I still think the Maya were right but maybe they are on a 1hr delay.  Which is possible if the calendar maker was distracted by nature or BC bar fight or if they were watching the season finale of The Voice.  So I will give them a little leeway.  But they'd better start the show soon.  I gave up new cars, fancy vacations and my kids' dental work (where do you think I got the titanium from) just build this room and protect what is mine.  SO something better happ...

What was that? Ok.  I'm going to leave now.  I need to get back into my safe room.  I just heard a noise and I don't want to take any chances.  I will keep all of those who heeded the warnings and built their safe houses informed.

HAPPY EOTWD (End Of The World Day)!!!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

End of the World - Prequel

I haven't posted in a while.  I just haven't been inspired to peck my thoughts through my keyboard.  But I figured... the world is going to end tomorrow!  So, I'd better get in and write SOMETHING!!!  I mean, what do you do at a time like this?  Do you curl up into a ball and cry your way though the impending doom of the world?  Do you go out and take what precious minutes you have and try to change the world (even though you've had YEARS to do so and didn't change anything then)?  Each of us will sign out differently.  I have chosen to write. (Brave... I know!)

Some of you out there are saying, "You know that's not going to happen.  It's already 12/21/12 in other countries like Japan, Australia, China, Israel, UK, all of Africa, an pretty much everywhere except the Americas (North, Central and South)."  So those skeptics... Poo on you!  Didn't know you know the Maya Civilization was on CST time???  That means we only have about 45 minutes as I'm writing this.  But instead of speculating what MIGHT be, I've decided to chronicle this last day of existence on what IS.  So I will post as often as I can.  I will brave this one day!  I will make sure those of you who can hear the sound of my voice (or read my blog) will know that I'm still around.  And I will be here as long as the earth continues to spin!  I will be here as along as 4 horses of the Apocalypse are still in their stables.  I will be here as long as my wife doesn't make me clean anymore just in case the world makes it another day.  (I'm still upset about that one.  It the last day of the world and what do I have to do... CLEAN!!!)

Anyway, I'm going to my safe place to wait out these last 40 minutes of life.  I hope to see each of you on the other side.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Saying Goodbye

When it comes to the passing of a friend or family member, we all choose to say goodbye differently.  Not only do we have a different way to say goodbye, we also choose to say goodbye at different times.  I helped bury one of my best friends this past weekend but I chose to say goodbye well before the funeral.

I chose to say goodbye to my friend, James Pointer, by talking to him throughout the week with a little 2Pac playing in the background.  I decided to have general conversations with him about things we would have normally been talking about.  So I took time out during the days leading up to his funeral to make sure we would have time to talk over all of the topics.

We talked sports.  It was mostly about the NFL.  We talked about how our Cowboys were going to do this season.  Of course he was a lot more optimistic about their chances than I was.  He always erred on the side of positivity (not a bad trait to have).  And he was REALLY positive about the Titans chances this season.  I wanted him to be right but couldn't bring myself to be swayed by his ideas about the team.

We talked about the NBA.  I asked him who was going to win between the Heat and OKC in the finals.  He said the Heat.  I said OKC.  (He was right. Blah, blah, blah.)  I also took that time to tell him something about basketball that I never said while he was alive.  I finally told him that when we used to play ball in the park he was no Michael Jordan.  (I know he liked to think he was, but he wasn't.)  He laughed and told me something HE had been holding on for a couple of decades as well.  He told me I was no Magic Johnson.  We both agreed that the other was right and that we just liked playing ball.

We talked about women.  This was a pretty short conversation because neither of us know anything about women.  (Who does???) We both have a lot of female friends but I think that was more out of accident than by design.  We did come up with one thing, though.  When you have that special someone... you do everything you can to make sure they stay that way.  You don't let any person, any law or any church tell you who you should or shouldn't be with.  In the end, you don't have to answer to any of the people trying to keep you apart.  Too many people go through life without finding that special person.  So, when you do, you don't let that person go.  Even though life is short it becomes WAY too long to live with that kind of regret you have from letting someone slip through your fingers.

We talked friends.  He did most of the talking during this portion of the conversation.  I would almost say that it was a monologue.  He was FAR better at making friends and treating them the way they should be treated.  So I mainly kept my mouth shut.  He explained to me that friends must be loved unconditionally.  If you accept someone as a friend then they must be loved.  He didn't care about race or gender.  He didn't care about sexual orientation.  He didn't care about religious or political affiliations.  If you gained his respect and trust, you had a friend for life.  I have always shared the same sentiment as he but he was much better at showing it.

We talked family.  We both think that there are very few things in this world more important than family.  But the standard definition of family doesn't always apply.  Sometimes, you have friends who are more family than family.  But a strong and supportive family base can make the starting point for something great.

We talked about so much more.  Some stories I might share at a later date.  Others I will keep between Mr. James Pointer and myself.  But the conversations we had while he was alive as well as after his passing will continue to strengthen me for the rest of my life.  There are a few OTHER conversations I would like to have with a couple of other people, though.

I would like for his mom (VC) to know:  I can't imagine what you are going through.  I know everyone tells you it will be ok.  And that statement always creates a conflict between what your head thinks and your heart feels.  But there is one thing that should help in the healing.  You should be able to take some solace in that you brought such a wonderful person into this world.  Being a father, that's all I think I can ever ask for.  When you looked around at the funeral, you didn't see just people there to make an appearance.  You saw people who were truly touched and positively influenced by your son.  You saw people who were saddened by his passing and at the same time happy about having known him for whatever time they had with him.

I would also like to apologize.  I tried for YEARS to get him to move out of Shelbyville.  He had such hopes and dreams.  He also had the mind and social skills to make that happen.  But I knew he would never reach those dreams in Shelbyville.  So, for a long time, I tried to get him to move to a larger city to fulfill his dreams.  It wasn't until the last 2 years that I quit trying.  But I didn't quit out of defeat.  I quit because I finally realized that he didn't want to leave you, Max and the rest of his family and friends.  And the thing is... at first glance it would sound like he was being held back by his love for his family.  But if you know James you can see that he was actually being BUILT UP by the love for his family.  James might have filled in the walls and bought all of the furniture but you, being his mother, built his base, his foundation and his structure.

I would like for his brother (MP) to know:  James was always proud of everything you did.  I can't remember him EVER saying anything that could be thought of as negative or even disappointing when he referred to you.  He wanted to make sure he set a good example for you growing up.  And as you got older, it seemed like he became closer to you.  He went from being you older brother setting and example to just being your brother and enjoying how you put everything together to become your own person.  He absolutely LOVED that you made him an uncle.  And he wanted to be there for every milestone with you, your wife and his nieces and nephews.  He just really thought the world of you .  

I would like for his uncle (JB) to know: I can't imagine anyone else in the world delivering a better eulogy.  You were the perfect choice.  The fact that you really KNEW him made all of the difference.  He always wanted us 3 to get together to just sit and run our mouths.  There was never a time when we were hanging out that he didn't mention something you said or did.  That is especially true over the last 5 or 6 years.  You were a great influence on him and he probably had more respect for you than anyone else in his life.  Whenever we talked I could always count on finding out what "JB" says about things.  It was never presented or received as a negative thing.  I hate that I never took him up on the offer to hear your words in person while he was alive.  But listening to your words upon his passing it sounds like it was truly my loss.  Everything he said about you was right.

I would like for the rest of his family and friends to know... One VERY true statement about James really stood out to me from the eulogy.  And that was that James NEVER gossiped.  He always told the good stories about each and every person he spoke about.  Even when things weren't going so well, he would not stoop as far as to pass on negativity.  So, if there was something to be worked out, you could count on him working it out directly with you.  Yeah, he talked to me about things when he was troubled.  But it was always said with respect for the person he was talking about.  He loved each of you and would easily have traded his last breath to make sure you had another one.  That's just how he was.  And as his uncle JB said, he lived  HIS life HIS way.  That is just how he will be remembered.

And when the funeral I wanted to tell everyone these things.  I wanted to go talk to his mom.  There were some of James' family members I wanted to speak to for a few minutes.  I really wanted to talk to several of our mutual friends. But after they lowered James into the ground I became quieter.  I decided to not really talk to anyone after that point.  And it wasn't that I was being antisocial.  It wasn't that I was being rude or anything like that.  I had already said goodbye.  I felt I needed to give everyone else the opportunity to do the same.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

I lost someone yesterday

If I was a real writer then I would probably have the words to fill the empty page here.  But, I'm not. So the words don't hit the page as quickly and as precisely as I would like.  I really just keep looking at the screen thinking it's going to magically fill with all of the jumbled up mess that's up in my head.  But it's not.  I imagine my mind is at the same loss for words that my mouth shares.

I lost a good friend yesterday.  His name was/is James Pointer.  He was not only a good friend but also a great person.  So my loss is the world's loss as well.  His infectious smile meant that you couldn't be around him without smiling too.  And though is physical stature was a little intimidating his demeanor was nothing short of a teddy bear.  He was genuine in that what you see is what you get.  He was fun to be around.  He never met an enemy.  He never said a negative word behind anyone's back.  He was just the kind of person that made you feel like you were a better person just having met him.  So his untimely passing will be felt by a LOT of people.  Probably far more than he could have ever imagined.

I do have one major regret, however. Though he and I talked, chatted, messaged and even saw each other semi-regularly, he never got to see my youngest.  This is really sad for a couple of reasons.  The first reason is that she's almost 4yo.  Surely, over the last 4 years we could have found time to make this happen. It is even sadder when you look at the second reason.  He was a guy who LOVED kids.  That's pretty rare.  Most men LOVE their own kids.  Most men will tolerate other people's kids.  I don't mean that in a mean or negative way.  I'm just stating a fact.  But James truly loved all kids.  That's just the kind of person he was.  He always wanted his own children but that, sadly,  never came to be.  So, he basically adopted every child he met.  And he passed away without me allowing him the opportunity to adopt my little one.

So, James, wherever you are I hope you have access to the internet because I'm going take this moment to show you what she looks like now and give you the opportunity to adopt my little one.

James... Liana.  Liana... James.

There is a lot more I want to say but I'm not sure I'm ready to verbalize it (or write it).  So I will just leave it at this...

I will miss you, James Pointer... Rest in the words of how you used to end every single phone conversation with me:


Sunday, June 10, 2012

3yo Philosophy

My 3yo has a simple, yet very effective philosophy on life: If I ain't sleepin', y'all ain't sleepin' neither! (She's Southern. So, that explains the use of the words ain't, y'all and the dropping of the final 'g' sound in words ending in '-ing'.  AND she's 3.  So, her philosophy is entitled to a few grammatical errors as well.)  And by "y'all" she means the entire house.  We just have an interesting situation with the 3(almost 4)yo.

Our 3yo NEVER sleeps in.  And by NEVER, I mean... we could keep her up until 3am, give her Benedryl, sound and light proof her room, make a Federal Law to make napping unconstitutional, move everyone out of the house except her so there are no vibrations and play a CD of Metallica's greatest hits... on the xylophone and she would STILL be up by 5:30a. (We haven't REALLY tried all of these things (because I can't find the xylophoned version of Metallica) but I'm kinda partial to the whole MOVING OUT thing.  If she's taking the whole 'early bird gets the worm' approach to squatter's rights on the house, she can have it!)

Since she was born she hasn't consistently slept through the night.  It wasn't until around 8 - 9 months ago that she started sleeping past 5:00a.  (She's still up by 5:30a though.)  We shouldn't be too surprised since one of her older sisters was ALMOST the same way.  There was a time, however, shortly after she had turned 3 when we though she had turned the curve and was ready to start joining the rest of us in the house with semi-normal sleeping patterns.  She had actually slept through the night!  AND she slept past 7:00a.  My wife and I were celebrating this new development!!!  We danced.  We sang. (Neither of which, I am good at.) We consummated our new life together by toasting with a little champagne.  Happy days were here again.  We would from this day forward have normal children where we would have to FIGHT to get them awake instead of the other way around.  And this excitement of Bonnaroo proportions lasted all the way until... 5:00a then next morning.

We have done our due diligence in the art of forcing a 3yo to sleep past 7:00a against their will.  We have bought the blackout curtains so that our daughter believes the earth is in a state of perpetual darkness.  It didn't work.  We have kept her up WAY later than her normal bed time. (We haven't done this one a lot because it's not a good thing to do AND it hasn't worked ANY of the times it has happened.)  She still wakes up right before or right after 5:00a.  We have tried a little Benedryl.  (Don't worry.  It was Doctor supervised for symptoms related to allergies.)  And that was the WORST!  She was 10 times as hyper than normal.  (At least 3 times that night I had physically PULL her off of the ceiling.  There are footprints still up there to prove it happened.)  She was not only hyper but she also didn't sleep past 6:00a.  So after calling our Doctor and giving her a little English lesson (ghetto style) we immediately discontinued the use of said product for ANY future allergic reactions.

There are a few things we haven't tried for various reasons.  We haven't tried alcohol.  Why?  Because we are good parents and would never resort to such illegal parenting methods.  (Besides, the alcohol is for me.  And giving it to a child to help them sleep is a waste of some good ethanol.)  We haven't tried monetary compensation for a few hours of sleep. (Actually, we HAVE tried it but it failed miserably.  She doesn't know the value of money yet so her price for a few extra hours of sleep was something like $10 hundred million thousand million (not sure if that's in dollar or cents but it really doesn't matter because we don't have 10 hundred million thousand million of ANYTHING.)  So bribery is out.  We haven't tried just simply letting her cry it out. (That's not true either.  We have tried that but she just yells, screams and kicks the walls until everyone else in the house is awake.  We are awake because her room still has a baby monitor in it.  The 6yo is awakened because she has the room next to the 3yo.  The teenager is immune to this.  I think she could sleep through the 3yo putting on her best screaming performance with a megaphone in the same room.  (I envy her sometimes.))

I told my wife that something's not right with her and she needs more time to cook.  My wife QUICKLY vetoed my idea to put her back in for a few months to make sure she comes out done.  (She didn't even give this idea a chance.  AND she won't reconsider.  I'm not sure why she has such strong feelings against this idea but it has some merit to it and should at least get put on the table.)  I came up with the idea to try to sell her on the Black Market and then buy her back (at a discount of course) after she starts sleeping in.  But that plan got shot down when I found out that was illegal.  (The Black Market idea was illegal but I wonder if it's ok to have a yard sale and "accidentally" put a $.25 sticker on her back.  She LOVES stickers!)

I imagine we are just stuck with her until she works this out of her system.  My wife and I have already gone 6 years without sleeping past 7:00a so I guess we can do it a few more years.  At 5:00a on Saturday and Sunday mornings I might not think this, but she's worth it.  And I would miss her if we sold her...  even if we only sold her for a few years and bought her back when the sleeping thing gets worked out.  Here are a couple of reasons why she isn't going anywhere.

(You will have to excuse all of the errors in my post.  I haven't written in a while AND I did most of this post with my 3yo flicking my ear, crawling on me, hitting me, talking in my ear, saying she's hungry, wanting to play Mickey Mouse and Angry Birds on the iPad, and just generally being a 3yo.)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Stroke of Genius

Before I get to Day 2,  I was asked to post this on my blog.  If you are a FB or Google+ friend, you already know what happened and this is just the whole version.

So, I was taking the kids to one of those very rare trips to see the grandparents.  I feel bad that I don't take them there enough considering my parents live less than 30 minutes away.  (I know.  Bad son, right?)  But we were on the way over the river and through the woods when, from the back seat, my 6YO starts doing her normal thing...

"Daddy, Go SUPER fast! I want to see 3 numbers!  I want to see 100!" (I have a digital speedometer and she wanted to see it go to 3 numbers.)

I have explained to her on several occasions that going "super fast" can get me put in "super jail".  She doesn't care.  Apparently, she has an insatiable need for speed (at 6) and can't be bothered by such details as her father going to the BIG house.  To her, that's just dad taking one for the team.

Today was different, however.  SHE WOULDN'T STOP!!!  If you have children, or work with children, you know this day.  It happens every now and then.  (More now and less then.) If you are over 35, it's much like a record skipping on a song you really didn't want to hear to begin with.  If you are under 30, I probably just sounded like Charlie Brown's teacher, "WAH, WAH, WAH, WAH!".  What?   I lost you at Charlie Brown, too??? Good Grief!!!  Well... trust me...  it's not fun.  It goes a little something like this...

"Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!" "Go faster, Daddy!" "Daddy!" "Daddy, go faster!"

(That was the short version. This can literally go on for hours if you let it.  Their mind goes into some sort of cruise control and it takes their mouth along for the ride.)  Notice, you don't hear any of my dialog in that.  That's because when they are in this mode, there's really not reason to respond.  You just let them do their thing.  Any response, at this point, just leads to a series of "WHY?" questions.  You will be able to answer some of the WHYs but most you won't.  And that leads to more WHYs.  It's all lose/lose (like politics) from here.

This is also the moment where you realize that this form of Kiddie Verbal Viral Warfare is working!  You know you won't be able to take much more.  You are merely mortal.  Humans were only designed to take so much.  Male humans were designed to take even less.  I was about to push that little Civic to the limit and I didn't care if I got caught or not.  I was fully prepared to make an O.J. convoy 20 police cars long directly to the jailhouse just for some quiet when I was hit with a stroke of genius.

I decided to give my little one what she wanted.  My daughter wanted 3 numbers and she was going to get 3 numbers!  That's the kind of father I am!  So, I jammed my foot onto the accelerator.  I leaned back in my seat as if I was taking off in a space shuttle.  I even made a loud VROOOMMMM noise.  (That part was absolutely necessary since I drive a Civic.  No matter how hard I push the engine there's not enough power to make the engine roar.  So, sound effects are needed.)  Then, to complete the request... I pressed the "turbo" button!  Sadly, my turbo button doesn't actually make the car go any faster.  All it does is change the digital speedometer reading from Miles Per Hour to Kilometers Per Hour.  So, instantly, I was going 110! (At least that's what my display says.)

My little one was EXTREMELY excited that her father went over 100!  She could hardly contain herself.  It was great!  I managed to make her happy and not get a ticket... which made ME happy.  All of this was at the push of one button.  And that's what fatherhood comes down to.  Sometimes you are charged with making sure everyone is happy.  And all it takes is a little creativity and deception.  (You know... that point sounded a WHOLE lot better in my head.  But you get what I'm saying!)


Since I originally thought about putting this story to print, the "genius" plan has backfired on me.  Now, BOTH of my little ones loudly object when I change the speed back to mph.  So, now, I will eventually get the ticket anyway because I have NO idea how fast I'm going.  I wonder if the officer will understand.  If he's the father of young girls... he will.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Diary of a Father of a Teenage Girl - Day 1 - The Move

I knew this day would come.  I fought and fought and fought this for years.  But, alas, it was fruitless.  I didn't even get the lousy T-Shirt to prove it.  And, it's not like the wife's birthday or our wedding anniversary that sneaks up on me each year.  This was something real and had to planned for or it would have blown up in my face (kinda like the wife's birthday or our wedding anniversary.  All of my planning and preparation got me ready for the inevitable.  I am now the father of a teenage girl. Operation Protection by Destruction has commenced!  But each operation must start with a plan.  And this plan starts with The Move.

I have to move.  I'm too close to the assignment.  Being in the same house with a teenager mean ZERO planning would get done.  ZERO planning means sloppy execution.  And I only have one chance to get this right.  (That's not necessarily true since I have 2 other girls.  I could consider this a trial run.  That will be my Plan B.  If this doesn't work out I will learn, grow and buy MUCH more ammo for the next mission.  Failure is not an option... twice.)  So, moving out is the best option.

Keep in mind, this wasn't part of the original plans.  I had told myself long ago that I was not having any little girls.  I made a promise to myself and the world that I would only have 2 (maybe 3) boys and that was it.  But somewhere between promise and procreation I forgot a Y-chromosome... 3 times!  So, most of my life I was planning on raising the problem causers in the world and now I have to deal with the problem solvers.  But life goes on and plans are adjusted.  Luckily, the moving out plan was in place whether I had a boy OR a girl.  It didn't matter.  Teens are teens.

Some of you might be thinking, "But, won't your wife object?"  Well, she can't. I had this clause added to our nuptials.  Fellas!!!  You NEED to add this into the nuptials or you just end up looking like a jerk when you move out and leave the wife and kids at home.  But if it becomes part of the vows then you are just being the perfect father and husband by making sure you are man of your word.  And it's really simple too.  If you get to write your own vows then it's GOLDEN.  Just put it in the middle of golf and football.  She'll zone out at golf and come back after stop talking about football.  This is the Holy Grail of vows.  So use it wisely or you will be paying for it for the rest of your life.

If you don't get to write your own vows then you need to take this as a chance to learn stealth.  It will pay dividends later in life.  Know this going in... You are going to lose most arguments most of the time (whether you are right or wrong).  So take this chance to learn a new skill in sneakiness. (This is not deceipt or lying.  I don't condone that behavior.  But being sly is fine.)  When they get to the part that says LOVE, HONOR and (whatever new word they put in place of OBEY) you need to sneak in (under your breath), "but not necessarily in the same house."  See, this one is a little tougher because she's right there and listening.  You don't have the freedom of the Holy Grail.  You have say it low enough so she doesn't hear but loud enough for one of your boys (homies) to get it on video... as evidence during the eventual fallout of the teenage years.  Any real friend will help you accomplish this because they will expect the same at their wedding.

But, you have to lay the groundwork for this.  This will not plan itself.  And all good plans start with a good foundation.  Thus... The Move.  I have kept my family at DEFCOM  5 for a long time. But with the new development we will officially never drop below a 4 until there are no teenagers in the house.  And for those who think I will have more trouble protecting my teenage girl from the evil teenage boys, I just have 2 words for you... sniper scope.

But that's for another day.  THIS day is day 1 of the move.  I must admit, though, that I probably should have amended this rule.  It's kinda cold outside right now.  Unfortunately, when I thought this through, I didn't think about the fact that my daughter would reach her teens at winter time.  Slight oversight on my part.  Oh, well.  I won't miss anything else.  Tent - CHECK.  Canteen - CHECK.  Nearest stream - (the water bill has been paid, so...) CHECK (for now).  Bathroom - (Treeline is only a few yards behind me, so) CHECK.  Food source... well, I moved out but I'm just in the field across the street. (I have to be able to see the house for this to work.  I said I was moving out not moving away.) So, food won't be a problem.  I added that in the nuptials too. :-)

And now that I am alone and it is quiet, I have extra time to think and to write my general thoughts on the subject.

Thought #1...

The world would be a perfect place for teenage girls if there was no such thing and boys.

I guess we will see how this move thing works out.