The Forecast


Every other weekend a hurricane devours my sanity.

Every other other weekend and weekday it’s just a constant monsoon that eats away at it slowly.

This is the hurricane weekend.

From Friday until late Sunday our small 3 bedroom home is at over full capacity.

During the monsoons the occupancy is as follows-

Myself
My younger than me wife
My 22 year old daughter
Her 1 year old daughter
Black dog
White dog
Spotted dog 1
Spotted dog 2

But…

This is hurricane weekend…..

The occupancy is as follows-

Myself
My younger than me wife
My 22 year old daughter
Her 1 year old daughter
My 25 year old son
The brothers of destruction (my sons 3 boys)
         >4 year old Cody the Destroyer
         >2 year old B Rich
         >4 year old 1/2 brother AJ the Brawler
Black dog
White dog
Spotted dog 1
Spotted dog 2
Orange dog

I have been up since 5 am. It is about 7.

I have been up with black dog and spotted dog 1 preparing for the first signs of the oncoming Sunday version of the hurricane.

The wind is starting to pick up and the first droplets of hard rain are beginning to fall.

My son just took orange dog outside to do his business and has now left to buy donuts to help ensure the hurricane lasts longer and starts earlier.

The brothers of destruction are getting sugar.

I’m taking this head on.

Sanity or no sanity its coming.

The Adoption Roadblock


I have reached the point of the adoption process where I have to talk about something that concerns me.

As wonderful and exciting as the prospect of adopting a child into our family is….

There is certain roadblock that is preventing me from being on the same level of wonderful and excited as the young pregnant woman, her mother and my younger than me wife is (I don’t know why I keep calling her that. I just do)

This roadblock could possibly end our dreams of having this child as our own.

And, I’m the only one concerned. At least so it seems.

If you’ve gotten this far, I’m sure you may think my is that the young lady will back out and want to keep the baby.

That’s a fair assumption….but not my concern.

Here is the rundown to the roadblock-

If she chose to have an abortion, she could have….without parental concent or any other consent. It is her choice.

But….

In choosing to have the child and give it up for adoption…it is not her choice.

She needs her parental consent…

AND

The baby daddy’s consent along with his parents consent.

She is underage at 16. Baby daddy is underage at 15.

Which brings us to the roadblock…..

Young pregnant girl and her mother haven’t and don’t want to tell baby daddy that he is going to be a baby daddy.

I wait a minute and let that sink in…..

……….

……….

My younger than me wife is going along with it.

………..

………

I’m sure they have a reason. I’m not privy to what it is….but I’m sure there is one. It seems like a bitter man hating thing, but what do I know…

So, we asked our lawyer.

He had a few questions..

-do you know who the father is

-was she raped or assaulted

-is he of legal age while she is not

First question answer was yes. The 2nd to answers were no.

He’s using his lawyer ways to look into it but to this point he can’t find anything.

Here is what he told us-

It’s admirable that you 2 want to adopt this child, but, if I don’t find any new information about not telling the father then here’s the deal….

Mr. And Mrs. Good2begone…you are outsiders in this process. Until the situation with the father and his family is resolved you all have no stake in the game.

So, there it is.

Even with this information. The ladies are carrying on like the adoption is a done deal.

My wife says the I’m just pessimistic and need to be more positive.

I say I’m realistic and can’t set myself up for a fall that I KNOW is coming.

But, what do I know….

I’m just a man.

The DumbDown Prophesy


Today a pinnacle in the annals of personal parentdumb has been achieved.

I wasn’t striving to reach the peak of this mountain……it was a natural progression as forewarned by my parents before me and I am quite sure by theirs before them.

I write this post to attempt to educate any parents of small children who will at one time, in the not so distant future, be parents of teenagers.

At that time….and ONLY at that time will you be bitchslapped by fate in the same manner in which I have been.

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That’s right….fate is the monkey that jumps off your back and slaps you.

It was earlier this afternoon as I had a confrontation with my stepdaughter.

“Why didn’t you answer the text I sent you?”

“Because we were walking around.”

“You know….the reason you have that phone is not so you can LOL and OMG with your friends but so we can get a hold of you when needed.”

“What’s the big deal? We were just watching a movie and I didn’t hear it.”

“…..you just said you were walking around.”

AND THEN IT HAPPENED

Her arms crossed, her eyes rolled, and she gave an audible sigh and said,

“Whatever, you are going to hear what you want. I said we were watching a movie.”

Then she flung herself and walked out of the discussion chamber and into her room.

It was at that exact moment in time when I heard my fathers voice come down from the heavens and into my head….

“It’s official. Your dumb. Just like I was when you pulled that reverse crap on me. Enjoy the next few years of parenting hell.”

In looked up and grimaced. Then looked at my wife and said,

“Honey, I’m dumb now.”

She replied without missing a beat,

“We have been dumb for a few years, dear. You have just been blind as well. Now you see what I see. Still glad you married me?”

“Great….I’ve been the Helen Keller of parenting….when do we get smart again?”

“Only when they have kids, honey. Not any sooner.”

“Uggghhhh.”
_______

Once the teen years have pummeled the sweet nectar of life right out of the once able bodied minds and hands of my wife and I am hoping to be able to look back on this time, as my parents once did and theirs did before them, and say we raised them right.

But, until then, all I can is,

“I ain’t as smirt as I oosed too bee.”

I have become comfortably dumb.

The Bad Day Turnaround


A dirty diaper under the seat of her SUV. That was the cherry on top. If Baskin Robbins made a crappy day Sundae, she would have earned one today.
____________

The day started off on the wrong foot, and the rug was pulled out from underneath her the rest of the day.

Her alarm went off at the usual time, but instead of hitting snooze for a crucial extra 10 minutes of sleep, she turned it off and awoke when the phone started ringing. The day care was calling to see if she would be bringing her son in today. They reminded her that if she wasn’t, she still had to pay for the day anyway. She said she was running late and would be there soon.

Her son was fussy and tempremental from the moment they walked out of the house. He continued screaming and throwing a tantrum until she walked out of the daycare center.

She arrived late for work and late for the staff meeting. The one she was in charge of….. The topic of the meeting……staff tardiness.

After being berated by her supervisor, she tried to make the best of the workday by breaking a heel in a manhole cover during lunch and dropping her smartphone onto the concrete in the process, breaking the screen.

She returned to the office almost in tears.

Her ever so caring boss requested that she either pull herself together or go home. She cursed under her breath at him and chose to go home.

“I heard that.” he said as she walked out of his office.

She got into her Suv and headed for home. She didn’t have to pick up her son for a few hours, she thought a nap would be in order.

That plan was railroaded by the fender bender that occured on the on ramp to the freeway….2 cars in front of her. As she was waiting (for an hour) for the incident to clear up along with the path to the freeway, she began to gain a whiff of an overpowering aroma….

SNIFF SNIFF

“What is that horrid smell?” she said to herself

She looked over her shoulder into the back seat and caught a glimpse of a diaper wrapped up and sitting on the floorboard.

The proverbial kettle hath boiled over….

She screamed in the enclosed space of her vehicle.

“AAAAHHHHHHHH!!!” and slammed her fists on the steering wheel.

When the traffic jam cleared she headed straight for a car wash to clean out her SUV. She screached to a halt in the vacuum stall, opened all the doors and started cleaning with a rage.

“Dirty diapers? Seriously….WTF? Candy wrappers freaking happy meal toys crayons, this is disgusting!! How did I let it get this bad??” she screamed mentally at herself.

She dug inbetween the seats to make sure she got everything and pulled out an unmarked CD.

“Where the hell did this come from?” she said as she placed it on the dash and began to use the supervacuum.

Satisfied with the cleaning but not any less angry, she slammed the other 3 doors and got into the drivers seat, turned on the ignition and slammed her door as well.

She sat there for a minute, let out a large exhale, unclenched her fists and looked at the CD on her dash.

She didn’t recognize it. No writing on it. Kind of scratched. She shrugged her shoulders and popped it into the player.

She saw TRACK 1 displayed on the console.

The song began to replace the angered silence.

It began with a simple yet catchy blues riff on the guitar. The calmness of the guitar strings strummed slowly. Then the voice took all the anger away.

She laid her head back on the headrest, closed her eyes and smiled a relaxed smile.

The turnaround had begun.

She was taken back to the first time she heard this particular song. It wasn’t the lyrics that took her back…it was the melodies of the instuments and the sweetness of the singing.

She was reminded of the past when she couldn’t wait to be a Mother, a working independent Mother. Ready to take on the world and its problems.

It reminded her that life may have its difficulties but the end results were worth the hardships.

So she had a bad day…Tomorrow is another day. But for the rest of this day she will spend with her favorite fussy little man and know that she has been blessed with a great life.

As the track finished, she put the vehicle in drive and headed for the day car center.

And played the song again, this time she enthusiastically sang along.

Press here for Track 1

Confessions of a Closet Monster


September 2, 2012-4 am

Dear Diary,

Being a closet monster ain’t like it used to be. I’m giving serious thought to trimming my claws and sending my scare tactics out to pasture. I remember when I started out on this journey, straight out of the Fear Academy, the future was bright for we, the bringers of the fear…… By bright, I mean we were given all the tools we needed to scare the piss out of adolescents the world over. Sometimes by just making the closet door eerily, slowly squeak open. Simple yet quite effective. When that ceased to get the little brats hair to stand on end, the claws on the side of the doorway and a peeking of glowing eye sockets got their urine flowing unexpectedly. My dead heart would get great joy from the aromatic whiff of freshly stained bed sheets.

Sadly times have changed. The kids have changed. The Fear Academy had its doors shut long ago. My species is dying out. When children cease to be afraid….we cease to be relevant and disappear.

Once they became more afraid to go to school, church or even to those picture shows…we became irrelevant.

Fear in the mind of imagination is no longer scary. It is the fear of the daily reality in their world that has brought fear that I, for one, cannot compete with.

Kids killing kids. Guns are more real that I have ever been. I have become afraid to creep out of the closet. In fear that I may be a victim of their rage…..

A scared closet monster. That is the reality of my existence. My soon to be extinct existence.

If I am too scared to be scary, then I have become a monster to my own profession.

Of course, I keep these thoughts to myself. The few of my kind that are left need to keep strong. Somewhere out there, beyond the closet door, there is a child who believes that it is safe to turn off the lights after their parents have tucked them into bed.

It is that simple premise that baits me to keep my claws sharp and my tactics fresh.

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Stepdad 101


“I DONT HAVE TO LISTEN TO YOU! YOU’RE NOT MY DAD!”

I have heard this a few times in my short tenure as a stepfather. It’s the statement that has stuck with me the most since this journey began. It has affected my judgement, my mood, and my decision making abilities in dealing with the children.

I try to be a positive influence in my stepsons life.

I try to guide him with my experience from growing up.

I try to live up to what I think a stepfather should be.

Sometimes I fall short.

But I keep trying.

I don’t have the experience of raising a child from birth. It wasn’t in the cards for me. There is no “Stepfathering for Dummies” manual on what to do and what not to do. So I do what I do best.

A kind of running with scissors approach.

Trial and error and error and error. Figure it out as I go along. Just when I think I know the answers, I forget the questions.

Back to square one.

It’s frustrating.

But every once in a while there is a breakthrough.

A moment in time where my conscience is at ease. Confirmation that my GPS (good parenting system) is functioning correctly.

Today was one of those times.

July is spend the month with the real Dad time.

He texts and calls his Mom on a regular basis during this time and I get a tell stepdad Hi. I’m used to it.

It was strange to me when I got a text from him at work today. Random what are you doing text but still weird. He doesn’t text me.

Then it happened.

The next text was asking advice about a girl he was seeing and why girls need space.

Instead of using my lightning mental reflexes that would have texted back and said ” girls don’t need space, they need to be IN space “, I paused.

All I texted back was ” girls are weird like that ”

He agreed.

At 9:30 this evening, he called me.

He asked what I thought he should do.

I gave him advice.

He said “Thank you for listening to me.”

It’s the little things that make all the hardships worthwhile.

I may not be his Dad.

But I am the one he is coming to for advice on matters of the heart.

And that makes this old heart feel pretty good.

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