Friday, July 18, 2008

Mature beyond my years!!!

If there is one thing that growing up in a small town in Idaho has taught me, it is my ability to entertain myself with absolutely NOTHING. It is with fondness that I remember my summer days in Fairview. I remember trying to ride the neighbors calfs, (yeah, I'm hardcore like that!!), riding my bike, trying to recreate the "PLINKO" board from The Price is Right with cardboard and toothpicks, and most especially, I remember peeling the "skin" off my hands. Skin, in this instance was not actually skin, it was Elmer's glue. I can not tell you how many hours my sister and I would kill, just spreading glue all over the palms of our hands, and up our fingers, letting it dry a bit, and then peeling it off like we had a bad case of Leprosy or something. That my dear friends, is entertainment at its finest. The only reason I mention any of this is so I can point out exactly how mature I have become.

Yesterday, as I came home from work, I walked in the door and what was sitting on the table....a bottle of Elmer's glue. about a flood of memories. Pavlov's stupid dogs have nothing on me now. All I could think about was sitting down and squirting glue all over my grownup hands, waiting a bit for it to dry, and then peeling my "skin" off. I even picked up the bottle, twisted that little orange cap, picked at the dried glue that had collected along the top. It was all I could do to not squirt a handful and sink into the gluey abyss. I'm pretty sure my eyes glazed over, at least for a minute. I had the whole "Homer Simpson sees a plate full of donuts and bacon" look goin' on, for sure. In fact, I think its safe to say that I now totally understand the pain of a crack addict going through withdrawals. BUT, I am happy to report that by the grace of God....and a very watchful eye from my kids, I put the glue down and just walked away. Yeah, thats right, I'm mature like that. I chose something much more productive to do with my time.....GUITAR HERO!!! (don't judge me, its all about the baby steps)

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

I hereby retract my application for "Father of the Year"

As is the case most every day, as soon as I finish at work I immediately start thinking about where I could go fishing. I have my favorite spots that I like to go, I have spots that are closer, but not as fun, and then there are the "kid friendly" spots......LIARS!!!

After a particularly hard day at work, I was ready for a fishing trip. I made my way home, and immediately started recruiting for little fishing buddies. I'm not a smart man, but I am smart enough to realize that my chances of going fishing are greatly increased if I take a child with me. If I take both children, I am immediately elevated to a godlike status and promptly nominated for "Father of the year", an honor that has eluded me for years. After two successful recruits, I felt like this might actually be my year.

quick change of clothes...and convincing Savannah that her shiny black shoes with the bows and buckles were NOT standard fishing attire, we were off.
Tackle box.....check
Fishing poles.....check, check,....and check
oh yeah baby...were going fishing.

Soon after arriving at the "kid friendly" spot, I quickly set up Savannah's princess fishing pole. I put all the standard stuff on and was ready to toss her hook in, when she stopped me.
Savannah: Ummmm....Dad
Me: What bug. (one of her many nicknames)
S: Ummmmmmmmm.......can I swing? pointing to the swing set off in the distance
M: Not right now, we are fishing right now.
S: k....but
M: *gritting teeth (its that whole "Father of the Year" crap) ......what!
S: ahhhhhhh.....I sorta haffa go to the potty.

At this point I am grateful that my thoughts don't verbalize themselves cause all I'm thinking is stuff that my kids ought not hear. Instead, I muster up as much patience as I can ...

M: k, sweetie, you might have to wait for just a few minutes while I help Gabey baby get his pole ready.
S: nnnnnnnnnnkay....but I hope I don't pee my pants.

I think this is where I let out my first audible "damn!"

To avoid a potential disaster I convinced Gabe to just fish with my pole that was all ready set up to fish while I took the princess of pee to use the bathroom. Thats right, I'm totally on top of this parenting stuff.

When I returned to the bank where we were fishing, I looked out and couldnt see Gabes' bobber anywhere. Upon further inspection, it was RIGHT BY THE BANK. Apparently, Gabe was totally distracted with the prospects of dressing our worms up in blades of grass and giving them all swords made out of twigs and fish hooks. I sorta got the feeling that the kids didnt quite share my zeal for such a fishing excursion, but in one last ditch effort, I picked up Savannah's fishing pole, put on some powerbait....cause it was pink, and went to cast it in. First attempt at the cast, the hook probably went 2 feet....behind me. I think this is when the group of kids fishing next to us looked over and had a good laugh at my expense. Yeah,....thats right, yuk it up funny guys, I'll show you. I reset the pole and cast it I watched that impaled worm with the red and white bobber above it, go sailing through the air, I think to myself "nicely done, you should have your own fishing show", what I actually hear from the group of kids...."HEY DUDE....NICE PRINCESS POLE!!" Gabe saw the fury in my eyes and quickly hid all the worm swords so that I wouldn't go and hurt somebody. Instead, he diffused the situation by asking if he and Savannah could just go play. "We don't really like fishing...but we like to play. You can fish and we'll just go swing. Don't worry Dad, I'll keep an eye on her." Reluctantly, I agreed. I'm a stupid man.

Ten minutes later, after getting them on the swings, gathering up unused fishing stuff, and collecting the fragments of my shattered ego, at least I was fishing again....but not for long. Shortly after I had resumed fishing, one of my friends pulled up with his family, as well as my wife.

Them: Have you caught anything?
Me: No, not yet!
Them: Hmmmm, so where are the kids?
Me: (looking over my shoulder towards the swings) ...they are right over.........CRAP!
Cheryl (my wife): hmmmm....yeah.....NICE.....I'll go find them.

Now, don't be fooled, although this is a true story, my time line may be off just a bit. The point remains that while I was myself at the kids pond, my kids were off doing lord knows what. The rest of the night is a blur, I remember the kids coming back to the and muddy as hell. Cheryl was barefoot and muddy. Nobody was smiling...except the group of kids that were mocking me! I had visions of my wife becoming Bear Grylls as she extracted our children from the muddy abyss. I'm glad that nobody was seriously hurt, but I do feel like I should retract my application for "Father of the Year".