Tag Archives: Boy

Mother Nature Can Be A Mean Mutha

Mother Nature has a wicked sense of humor.

As an adult, you’re pretty much independent of the weather. Oh, I don’t mean that you can go outside in a blizzard, naked and enjoy a rousing game of snowball fighting without causing yourself some severe damage.

I just mean that we adults have ways around various weather-related catastrophes, such as seeing the baseball game you were looking forward to get rained out an hour before the first pitch was to be thrown. We can’t make the game go forward, but we are mature enough to realize that it wasn’t personal* nor the end of the world and then choose something else to do that day.

Little dudes and dudettes? Not so much. To them, the weather is personal. It really doesn’t want them to see the soccer game, or experience playing in the new park for the first time or take the dog to the dog park to let it off the leash and watch the ensuing craziness.The original title of this said something about politics, but I really don't see anything political about a tornado bearing down on a car, do you?

If you’re like me and you want to at least appear to make the attempt to rear your children in such a way as to suggest that the outdoors is not something to be avoided at all costs, you quickly realize that maybe the little dudette was right about it being personal.

We live in the south. I’ve lived in the south (if we count fashionable far-north Dallas as the south and I do) for almost all of my life. Which means that summers have always been hot. It’s not even so much a question of how hot, but will it break a record today? I am used to going around outside in the heat.

Sweating doesn’t bother me. I’ve learned to enjoy the shade for the delightful break it really is.

That’s me.

One of the first things I came to realize when I became the person in charge of rearing three young boys in a day-to-day basis, is that any temperature that isn’t 72 degrees Fahrenheit is way too (insert hot or cold here, depending on season) and they’re going. . . to. . . die!

Which, oddly, they never did do. Despite the whining and the horror-show shrieking whenever we’d go outside into the bright sunlight and heat and humidity, the little dudes still lived.

I think a lot of this comes from the immaturity of the young dude brain. In that, when something goes wrong, they feel the need to apportion blame. Something can’t just happen. It has to have been done by someone to them.

And because every bad occurrence is seen as having been directed at them, they take it personally and get much more angry than would seem reasonable to an adult. Or at least someone cleverly disguised as a responsible adult.

This is the bit about the sense of humor. Knowing all this about how kids see adverse changes in plans, what do you suppose happened every time I had talked them into going outside in the heat to, maybe, go swimming?

If you guessed the advent of a once-in-a-century lightning storm crashing down on us just as we got to the pool. . . Well, you’ve obviously been reading this blog for a while.

When you’d actually look at the weather, see an almost certain day of rain coming and plan for a trip to the movies. . . Of course it’s one of the nicest, sunniest days on record.

It can get annoying, but I think this kind of adversity is good for their them, making them stronger, better able to handle the twists and turns of life that aren’t part of a water slide you can’t use because it started lightning and only does it every 30 minutes which is enough because they make you wait 35 minutes between strikes to get back into the water.

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Let The Games Begin*

Today should be a national holiday.

I’m serious, dudes. Very serious.

Well, as serious as I can be when I’m jumping up and down inside and giggling and laughing and clapping my hands together and basically imitating a little girl who’s just been given a magical unicorn kitty who smiles rainbows.

Yes, it’s the start of the NCAA men’s college basketball tournament today at noon. I cannot wait.

There’s nothing to compare with the feeling of sitting down a few minutes before noon, clicking on the television and seeing the first tip off, knowing it’s only one of many that will happen during the day. And tomorrow. And the next day and the day after that.

Could this be the year that a 16 seed beats a 1 seed? (Maybe, but not in the South. And I’m not just saying that because I graduated from the University of Florida and love the Gators with a frightening intensity**.)

Who will be the Cinderella story of the tournament, the team that comes out of nowhere and makes a strong run, beating teams it has no business even being in the same auditorium with?

Will I be able to make it through the tournament without wanting to hunt down a certain announcer’s parents, travel through time and slap them both until they no longer want to have children? Thereby saving us from the long national nightmare that is. . .

Sorry. I need to calm down a bit. Hyperventilating isn’t good for me, I’ve been told.

This Madness that is March is yet another thing I need for which I need to thank Hyper Lad. See, it was because he was born just before we moved to North Carolina that allowed me to stay at home full time to take care of him.

And, because I was home alone with the little dude, that I turned on the first basketball game of the 1999 tournament while he was napping and started to watch. And didn’t go anywhere for the rest of the afternoon except upstairs during a commercial break to fetch the little dude down with me.

Sarcasmo and Zippy the Monkey Boy came home from school and couldn’t believe I was so distracted and it wasn’t football season.

This was a revelation. An epiphany. A Saul-on-the-road-to-Damascus moment.

“The band, Elwood! The band!”

Yeah, that kind of moment. Only with less gospel singing and no back flips.

And so that is where you will find me today. On the couch, drink in hand, smile on face and finger on the remote so I can switch back and forth to find the perfect game, to see the best play.

Because, even though today and tomorrow aren’t national holidays, I’m still taking the days off.

This is going to be good.

Footnotes & Errata

* I realize the gag First Four started playing on Tuesday, but I’m not counting play-in games. We’re talking tournament.
** Yes I am.

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Things I Never Thought I’d Do Or Recognize Being Done: Part 71 Of Well, A Lot

No. 71: My neighbor was washing her toilet in the front yard.

No, the shocking thing wasn’t that she was able to lift her entire toilet out of her home, carry it outside and still have it in good enough shape that she bothered to wash it out with a hose. The shocking thing was that I immediately recognized what she was doing even as I was far away, but walking toward her.

Because it wasn’t a giant, ceramic throne. It was a tiny, red plastic piece that looked just about the right size for a two-year-old butt.

Yeah, that kind of toilet, dudes.

Her youngest, a boy, is about at the end of his potty training and she wanted to make sure the toilet and receptacle inside didn’t come to define the house smell.

I immediately recognized what she was doing because I had done it so many times my self. Normally, you will wash out the training toilet inside.

Normally.

However, there are occasions or young dudes who are a bit more. . . enthusiastic . . . about using the training toilet. And these little dudes tend to leave a more. . . indelible . . . mark once they’ve passed.*

On those occasions, you’re going to need a bit more than a gentle rinse in a, hopefully clean, toilet bowl while wearing disposable rubber gloves. You’re going to need a power washing.

Even from down the street while you’re wrestling with a Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, it’s impossible to miss that bright-red shape. Once you’ve dealt with it yourself, of course.

Being a stay-at-home dad, I came face to face with that sort of incident much more often than I ever thought I would. The thing that also surprised me was that she was doing said power washing in the front yard. I had thought I was the only one who ever did that.

Buzz, The Garbage Disposal That Walks Like A Dog, and I stopped to chat for a little while. Well, more of a commiseration than a chat, but you get the idea.

Funny thing: While she was embarrassed to be cleaning the training toilet in the front yard, her boy, the proximate cause of said cleaning? He was running around, smiling and happy as can be. He couldn’t wait to show me what he’d done. Or at least describe it in detail.

No. 72: Listen with great interest as a young boy describes a massive poop. And then congratulate him.

Parenthood changes you, dudes. It really does.

Footnotes & Errata

*That wasn’t intended as a punne, or play on words, but come on. That was pretty good, dudes.

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