Friday, January 26, 2007

Kids say the damnedest things

Me: Where the Hell are those bastards that are supposed to be finishing the carpet!?

Wife: You do know they hear everything you say and mimic it?

Me: The carpet layers heard that?

Wife: Your kids.

Me: My kids will know there are only 3 reasonable excuses for swearing: one, when quoting the bible, two, when angry or annoyed, or three, when it makes a joke or story funnier. Most other times its totally inappropriate and there will probably be negative consequences.

Wife: At least you set a high standard.

Me: Damn straight.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

My Daughter and The Devil

Before my daughter, Maggie, was a year old Satan came to my house and recruited her. I say “recruited” as if it were for an important position but I get the impression Hell has a lot of rungs in its hierarchical ladder and Satan takes a personal interest in his employees on every level. Not to say she’s not capable of moving up but she’s not even two and has to prove herself - so for now I think she is working at the level of minion. My wife, in typical mother fashion, is naïve enough to think her kid is the only one not in league with the Great Satan. I have tried to tell my wife that our daughter works for Satan but she won’t hear it. "How can someone so cute possibly work for Satan?" she asks while twirling one of Maggie’s pigtails with her index finger. Never mind the fact that right after she asks this absurd question Maggie deliberately dumps the very glass of juice that she begged for on the floor and then has the nerve to say “uh-oh” as if someone walked up and knocked it out of her hands.

The actual employment started a little less than a year ago…
One night while lying in bed thinking about nothing in particular I heard a noise coming from Maggie’s room. I got up with the intention of discovering the cause of said noise, but when I got to Maggie’s closed door something stopped me before I opened it. There was a vaporous red light emanating from the crack beneath her door. Now, from my extensive film experience (watching not producing) I knew this meant one of two things. Either she was in there basking in the red glow of a lava lamp while sharing tokes on a bong with her pals, OR Satan was in there recruiting her for his work.

Irritated by both possible scenarios, I burst into the room to find no bong, no pals, but Satan, standing there smiling at my daughter. The most troubling thing, besides the fact that Lucifer himself was in my house, was that Maggie too was standing. I noticed that Satan had a document that he rolled as he laughed in my face and at that moment I realized what had happened. Maggie had sold her soul for the gift of mobility. (Just so you understand, the curse wasn’t that she could walk but that she could walk before she could reason.) As I screamed revenge I leaped for the throat of Satan but narrowly missed as he dropped into a fiery hole, which I can only assume led to Hell because we don’t have a basement. As I cursed Lucifer’s name salty sweat dripped from my forehead into my eyes and woke me. It had all been a dream. My heart was still racing when I wiped the sweat from my eyes and sighed relief. "Thanks to all that is holy, Maggie is still a crawler." The moments that followed were filled with thoughts of the flawed development of the human body and mind. Why does nature or God allow us to develop basic motor skills before we can understand simple instruction or expressions like “no” or “stop unrolling every inch of toilet paper we own or we’ll adopt you to a family someplace like West Virginia where they still use outhouses and wipe their butts with squirrels, you don’t even wipe your own butt anyway, what do you need fifty feet of toilet paper for?” As I tiredly considered this enigma I attempted to readjust my position and go back to sleep by turning on my side and putting a pillow between my knees like a pregnant woman when I heard a bump. This time the noise was real. Paternal instinct took over and my feet hit the carpet and were already moving to investigate before I had the chance to think what I was doing. Like in my dream my search led to Maggie’s door and without pausing I opened it and stepped in. Just then surreal slapped my face and brought me fully awake. Maggie was standing in the middle of the room. I looked at her but couldn’t move or speak. She returned the empty stare in kind. The motionless deadpan staring contest continued for an unnatural length. The silence was only finally broken by the tiniest splash. It was a drop of ink hitting the floor. That’s when my eyes shifted and I noticed the feather quill in her right hand. My heart sank when I realized I was too late. The deal was done. Satan had already come and gone and I wasn’t there to stop him. My paralysis finally gave way and I slowly walked over and picked up the books Maggie had just pushed to the floor. I then moved to her and took the quill from her hand that, of course, disappeared in a poof of smoke. Again I looked down at her and her at me, but this time a smile broke across her face, and my heart went from sinking to melting. Sure she was now working for the Dark Lord, but she was still my daughter. I gathered her up in my arms, kissed her forehead, and set her back in her bed with the admonition to stay there till morning, which no doubt fell on deaf ears, and then returned to bed myself.
It has been nearly a year since the incident and not many nights have passed that she hasn’t ended up in mine and my wife’s bed in the middle of the night, and there isn’t anything in our house less than three feet from the ground that hasn’t been pulled to the floor or covered in whatever she was supposed to be eating, but that is the way of things. I understand that we, the parents, are the ones to blame; always encouraging them as they move from one stage to the next – rolling, crawling, walking – cheering them on along the way. However I should say that as she has learned we too have learned some lessons and we won’t be making the same mistake again. Our month old son will stay strapped on his back till he can communicate and understand, and we’ll not be dissuade by tears, screaming, or bedsores.
Stick that in your pipe and smoke it Satan.

Saturday, January 6, 2007

New Years Resolve

As a new year’s resolution my family, spurred by my eldest brother, has jointly engaged in the Body For Life challenge. Even now, looking down at my pasty, rolling, patchily haired torso, I ask myself, “why”. Sure if I were still in my late teens or early twenties this body would seem like a sick fraternity prank. But to a man nigh unto 30, this body is a trophy, a guerdon if you will, for reaching such a noble milestone as thirty. I should feel no need to shroud this body in shame but should be encouraged by those within my circle of influence to display it with pride, to be admired by all.

All I can say is damn the fashion magazines for taking that glory from me. The time of sexual equality is run out and I can’t help but quietly covet the bygone days when men where admired and loved for their minds and tender hearts. Of course, I would be amiss to say women are entirely to blame alone. They are products of their environment; a relative species in a relative world, conditioned and catechized by corporate America till they are no longer free thinkers but assimilated. Damn modern media and the object it has made of a man’s body. And damn those who adhere to that twisted media’s false doctrines. DAMN THEM ALL!

I wish you the best with your goals too.

Thursday, January 4, 2007

In the beginning...

This marks the beginning of my life as a blogger. And although it sounds like a British insult I’m willing to try it on. (Mmm, cozy. Like a wool sweater.)

I’m feeling particularly reflective at the beginning of this year. Maybe because it’s a new year, maybe because my son was born two weeks ago. Or maybe because this is the year I will breech the big 3-0. I use the word breech because I feel like I’m approaching this birthday butt first with my feet up by my head. To one who has breached the big 4-0, the big 3-0 probably sounds like a welcome and exciting bike ride through a grove of beautiful aspens. But to someone coming from the big 2-9 it sounds more like collapsing during a walk in a forest from an asthma attack and being hit by some old fart on a bike.

The inevitable aside, my son Cash, named after the late great Johnny Cash (because my wife wouldn’t let me name him Don Juan de Ben-O, a name combination of his father and the man my wife wishes was his father), was born on the 18th of December. His name is actually Jackson Cash Quinn. My vote was for all single syllable names, Jack Cash Quinn. My wife however, convinced Jack Quinn said in quick succession sounded Chinese, or like Jaclyn. 

It wasn’t until one of my close friends informed me that Jack Cash sounds remarkably similar to Jackass (thanks Dan, you really saved my jackass on that one) that I was appreciative of my wife’s unbending stubborn pride.

Cash’s 20-month-old sister, Maggie, who calls him “be be” or “be be Cass” still thinks he’s a doll mommy pushed through her tearing nether region (to use the scientific term) for her own playtime pleasure. The fact that he’s so life like and makes real baby crying sounds whenever she pokes his eyes is an added bonus. Its not just his eyes mind you. Eyes are Maggie’s favorite part of all of God’s creatures and she shows her love by pressing on them at any chance she gets while repeating in her cute 20 month voice, “eyes.”

I’m almost 30, the father of two, and it’s a new year. The possibilities are endless.