My Words of Wisdom for the Day

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Teaching your child the right way to perform a task then correcting them when its not completed to your standards is of the utmost importance.  Allowing your child to “half-ass” that same task and walk away is setting them up for failure as an adult.   Dont worry thier little self -esteems you are so frantically trying to protect will actually thrive from the feeling of a job well done..

Carry on that is all….

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My Words of Wisdom for the Day

 

Life should be treated like doing your laundry.  Every now and again you muck up something really good.  But instead of throwing it all away you give it (life) a good scrub, then start all over smelling great and looking sparkly clean. Just a thought..

Carry on that is all….

 

An Army of one….

Standing at the precipice a cool breeze blocks the warmth from my face.  Coffee in hand the heart rate raises unexpectedly, a trickle of sweat forms upon the rim of my brow; my face is flush and mottled red.  Fear; fear rises inside as an uneasy feeling erupts inside my gut.  I must travel these cold steps towards the gates of hell but my feet appear to have become frozen.  My knees tremble and knock as general weakness overtakes the ability to move.

I know I must go, I know I must make this journey into domestic bowels.  No person wishes for this, I never asked for it nor did I volunteer this assignment yet here I stand, chill down my spine, a tight feeling in my throat, and sweat trickling down my face and back, knees locked together like a Friday evening bankers vault.  Where are the troops?  Where is my back up, my support system comprised of willing individuals to help over take the monster that lay dormant in the dark cavern? Where are they? They are nowhere to be found, they have abandoned ship, left their posts for more enjoyable endeavors.  A Army of one, alone I stand, and a stand I will make. 

It’s not the journey mind you, I have made these travel many times in the past.  It’s like being hit by an electric fence. You know the fence is hot, you know it’s going to hurt, but you also know you have to get through the fence when no gate is present.  So with all that knowledge each time you get hit by the electricity it doesn’t hurt any less yet in some strange fashion it doesn’t seem quite so bad.

But this time it’s different.  I know it shouldn’t be yet it is.  The ball of fire in the sky has come and gone many times since last traversing this trail.  The wind coming from its belly has a particular smell that brings worry and fear to my soul.  It also brings a tear to my eye as it stings the senses. 

Again I stare downward, into its depths, a sip of coffee a deep breath, I exhale stand up straight and start my journey.  The breeze still present brings a more pungent sickly sweet scent to my senses, I continue forward.  A few more stairs and a silhouette of the creature is in the distance; its massive shadowy mound lying dormant for now.  It has not been awakened and that is a good thing for to wake this monster will bring nothing but heartache to all who challenge its existence.  Reaching the bottom of the stairs I find the temperature is cooler, moist almost sticky.  Ducking under a low lying beam the monster is suddenly before me! It’s large and I swear its moving, different colors, patterns and textures make up this abnormality of existence. 

I work my around it quietly, for on the other side stands the Machines of Justice. The mound guards the Machines of Justice ensuring no one can ever use them for what they are intended.  By growing in size when needed the mound can completely block ones path from reaching the Machines of Justice ensuring certain failure to all who try. If I reach the machines of justice successfully I can slowly terminate this life form without disturbing it from its slumber.  It’s a risky move for sure, but effective none the less.  I have had great success with this maneuver in the past and since there is no back up coming it’s all or nothing.  The smell is toxic and starts affecting my breathing, making it shallow and labored, at one point I begin to feel light headed.  I pace myself slowly picking pieces of armor from the monsters back.  The smelliest ones first then other pieces of color and texture are the next to meet their demise inside the Machine of Justice.

While focusing on the task at hand the monster moves! Hard to the left it rolls but I counter with a receptacle to the side! Hustling back to my left I grab a large section of the beast hurling it with great force into the Machine of Justice! Yes!! Success!! The monster, realizing it is out matched has laid down flat allowing me to finish it off by pulling it apart creating smaller piles for processing!  I have triumphed! I have slain the beast with little to no fight at all! The Machines of Justice hum a song exalting my superiority over this inferior adversary! I will rise up the Hero once again! I turn arms in air shouting towards the heavens above; YOU SHALL NEVER DEFEAT ME!!

Dad? 

I turn to see my 7 year old staring at me with a befuddled look upon his face holding another basket of laundry to add to the pile.

 

The monster lives again…..

“And that’s how you turn the simple act of doing laundry into a short story about a fatherly super hero who battles evil.”

My work here is done…..

Dont poke a stick at the…..

He travels down the stairs like an ogre, heavy and disheveled. Rubbing his bare feet on the floor there is no doubt where he’s been or where he is headed. Shoulders dropped low, slack-jawed and mopey; don’t make eye contact for he shall unleash vengeance upon all who gaze. The ogre heads to the basement hoping to find some suitable clothing for the day. He begins pawing at the clothes basket like a bear would a tree trunk looking for grubs. Left paw, right paw he swats what is not his out-of-the-way. An annoyance really, these clothes he cares little for, or where they may land. Finding a shirt and pair of shorts he then takes to climbing out of the basement with a gasp and a grumble. Those who stand in the kitchen run for fear of falling victim to his foul mood.

I ask him where he is headed? I do this for I am not scared, nor do I cower at his presence. I am like an old lady with a rolled up newspaper ready to swat the creature on the nose for snorting my direction. He mumbles something about being upstairs, followed by a mild tantrum in regards to his little brother not picking anything up in their bedroom. All of which had nothing to do with the original question, but I let it slide for now. He vanishes back up the stairs and I sit, listening to his heavy footsteps across the floor. I can almost tell you play by-play what he is doing by the foot shuffle that carries through the ceiling overhead.

The others have gathered again hoping to eat before oaf re-enters the kitchen. But this is not be. Slowly he comes back down, dressed and ready for school. The deep furrowed brow he held before seems to have lightened a bit, showing some of the finer features of his face. He pours a bowl of cereal, covers it with milk and sits at the bar staring intently. I ask what he is staring at and all I receive is a shrug. Let the ogre eat I say quietly to myself; let the ogre eat..

He finishes his bowl and walks towards the sink to deposit the fine china and utensils. As he passes a smile arises! It’s not much but the corners of his mouth did raise to an acceptable level. So much so that yes, it’s officially deemed a smile! We have turned the corner! Houston we DO NOT have a problem! It is going to be a good day! I calmly smile back, keeping calm as to not jump the gun on this one! Go easy Betty, go easy!

He finishes his morning chores, including feeding all the horses and comes into the house with a full-blown smile! Its like the sun shining right in our kitchen! The flowers all lean his way! The dogs drop to their bellies and bask in the warm glow! He shines! He shines brightly and his mother hugs him with equal warmth and affection.

The children gather at the rear door, lunches in hand, books at the ready. All are prepared for school and most are excited to go. Mom readies herself, one last sip of coffee and off they head into the world! All run towards the car as if it were a game of tag! They are excited for the oldest is driving them to school today. Something about a kid driving other kids that makes them giggle. Three are gone but one remains at the back door. He is still smiling, staring at me with rosy cheeks, hands in pockets, back pack slung across his shoulders. The warmth still radiating from his face, I can feel his love. I walk closer and he wraps his arms around me, squeezing with all his might. He tells me to have a good day, I do the same and with a wink he is off.

He is no longer the same ogre from earlier lumbering about dragging his club and grumbling. He no longer swats at things like an angry bear. What moment brought about the change? I believe it is an uninterrupted bowl of cereal that does the trick for this lad. As I turn and close the door I soon realize that I am the very same ogre prior to my morning cup of coffee. Hmmmmm???

The legacy continues..

Old School Lessons

Today I went old school. Thats right I traveled back into the deepest reaches of my brain, drawing upon lessons learned the hard way. Lessons that at the time I felt were bunk, hooey, or just plain old bull! Never understanding or seeing the bigger picture in the situation, I would kick the dirt and thumb my nose at “the man”! Surely one day I would never ever repeat this kind of behavior, it was humiliating and unjust. I swore upon my grandfathers life these lessons would never be repeated. But I was wrong….

The year; 1975 I was nine years old, President Gerald Ford was in office. The average income per year was $14,100.00, a home would set you back a staggering $39,300.00! The cost of gas was 44 cents per gallon. 1975 was the year I saw Jaws and never wanted to go into the ocean again. I also found country music wasnt all there was to listen too and to my parents dismay I started soothing myself to sleep with the classic sounds of Queen, ZZ top, and Led Zeppelin! 1975 was a very good year or at least it started out that way.

1975 was also the year I learned one of the most valuable lessons a young lad needs to learn. Because regardless of who you think you are at 9 years old there are two people you will always have to answer too! Mom and Dad! Now dad was gone a lot on the road as a salesman so mom is the key to my little reflection on life lessons. When dad was gone I built it up into my head that I was the man of the house. Yep that’s right, 9 and in charge, why? AAAA Duh! I was the man! Anyway this constantly led to butting heads with my mother over doing chores over and above my obvious talents and pay grade as head of the household! Oh I did what was expected of me, although it was hard with all my other “head of household” duties! But I managed to accomplish most chores thoroughly and on time. Notice, I stated “most of them”. You see there was two things I was always slacking at, always shirking my responsibility of completion. It drove my mom nuts that I could never seem to accomplish these two simple tasks. Are you ready? Here it is….. Cleaning my room and changing my sheets.

I know! No big deal right? Or so I thought, as have hundreds of thousands of children over generations across this great nation and possibly the world! I’d always throw down some snide little “yeah ill get to it” then brush mom off as I headed off to school. Walking down our half mile road to the bus stop I would be giggling that I had pulled one over on her again! I aint changing no sheets no how, if she wants them changed so bad she can change them herself! Pick up my clothes off the floor, hah! If she wants them picked up she can do that herself too! Yep that’s right, man of the house and in charge! All should kneel before my greatness!

Until one day….

Mom picked me up from swim practice one day and was in an exceptional mood. That should have been a clue right from the start. But heck I was nine and dumb as a box of rocks. Mom was always grumpy in the afternoon, but to her defense, dad was never around and she was basically a single parent frustrated with the situation. She laughed and joked with us all the way home. My guard was down and I had been sucked into the joyous vortex. We got home and snacks were made, the table was cleared and ready for homework. That should have been the second clue! But hey, ole box of rocks is digging the love! Home work was done and snacks devoured, mom leans over and asks if there is anything else she could do for us. Anything else she can do for us, I thought? WARNING, WARNING, WARNING DANGER WILL ROBINSON DANGER!!!! She never says that, and the way she said it, holy crap what did we do! I studied the furthest reaches of my brain to see if there was any pressing bit of trouble someone may have squealed on me for doing or participating in. Nope! Oh this is going to be bad!!!

Thats when she took me by the hand and stated “good, for I have something to show you”! She has something to show me? Oh god this is bad, it’s really freaking bad!! As she turned the corner of the hallway her grip tightened on my hand just enough to leave no room for doubt about trying to escape her clutches. She stood me in front of my bedroom door and slowly opened it. There I stood in shock, sweat pouring from my tear filled face as I looked upon the remnants of my room. I had never been to war or seen its gory ramifications, but I was sure this is what a Viet-cong bunker looked like after our boys were done with it! Like a hand grenade had detonated in the corner of the room! Every belonging, every cherished piece of my room was piled up in the middle of the floor! My model cars, hand painted and dusted everyday lay strewn upon a pile of clothes that were a combination of dirty and clean. You see in her eyes it wasnt enough to make a statement with just the sloppy scraps I had strewn about. NOOOOO she went and emptied all my drawers, tore off my bed sheets and just for effect, the “piece de resistance” if you will. She tied all my clothes into knots. Thats right, square knots, half knots, overhand bends, she had them all well represented! She should have earned her Boy Scout merit badge for such effort! Sock shrapnel was strewn all around the blast site and it appeared my G.I. Joes had been lost in the battle. No survivors…..

As I stared into the depth of this nightmare, my mother leaned over and said very clearly; son, your room will be cleaned before you leave for school everyday, your dirty clothes will be in the laundry room and your clean clothes will be put away. Your sheets will be changed every Saturday and there will be no exceptions! Everyday that you fail to follow these directions you will come home to a room that looks just like this, and everyday you will clean it all back up to my liking until you get it right! I am your mother, I am not your maid! Am I clear?

Yes ma’am……

I hated her for doing that back then, I cursed her when I thought the job was good enough, only to come home to a destroyed room once again. After a long period where my room was aces, I think she destroyed it just to keep my ego in check! And yes, even though I hated it then, it is the sole reason I am clean, neat and organized today.

Speaking of today, here is why I have shared this story with all of you. As I stated earlier, today I went old school! You see my children apparently have decided that cleaning their rooms just isn’t in the cards on a daily basis! When my oldest refused to change his sheets knowing full well I had warned him of dire consequences, well there was only thing left that had to be done! Yep that’s right, you guessed it, my mothers sadistic evil form of cleaning revenge spewed forth like a genetic tumor. I walked into each room individually, took a deep breath, rolled my eyes into my head and let the demon have my soul. When it was over the carnage was spread far and wide! The piles were large and filled with every portion of their little lives. It was a thing of beauty..

I picked them up from school with a smile on my face, I told them we were headed straight home! No barn, no horses, no barn chores. I even-handed out a piece of candy or two. They laughed and giggled and talked about their new-found freedom for the afternoon! We entered the house and I motioned to my wife giving her the sign to please keep quiet. She grinned and walked outside leaving their destinies in my hands. I lined them up on the couch, quieted them down, then very calmly I leaned in close and said: children, your room will be cleaned before you leave for school everyday, your dirty clothes will be in the laundry room and your clean clothes will be put away. Your sheets will be changed every Saturday and there will be no exceptions! Everyday that you fail to follow these directions you will come home to a room that looks just like this, and everyday you will clean it all back up to my liking until you get it right! Your mother and I are your parents, we are not your maid! Am I clear?

Something to be said about “old school child raising” we will see what tomorrow brings. But judging from the work done today, things are looking up!

Dad, doing what he does best!

Here we go the ire is up! The steam is rising from my forehead! Teeth are clenched tightly and I am stammering for the right words!  I am ready, willing and able to ridicule another company one more time!!

I will always proceed any rants with the following; As you know from following my blog, I am a very involved father who believes all relationships should share equally the trials and tribulations of running a household and raising children! I have also made it my personal mission to “call out” any company or companies that exemplify the stereotype of dad being a moron, lazy, absent, disrespectful, or ignorant.  I also don’t believe that mom should be stereotyped as the frantic, know it all, does it all, at home personal maid to the family

With that being said; I saw a commercial today that at first I will admit peaked my interest a little.  It started out strong, and as it went on I found myself thinking “why yes nice lady tell me more”! But then they did it! Yes sir they did it! They crossed the line!  The blatantly took the low road pandering their inferior product to the masses.  They took it upon themselves to assume we as a society really function at a fifth grade level. Both with humor and intellectually.  Oh and just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, it did.  They attacked all fathers around the world. Wondering who this company could possibly be?  Pondering what they might actually sell? 

FOREVER LAZY!!!  Have you heard of these Snuggie rip offs?  Oh yeah that’s right I said it, SNUGGIE RIP OFF!!  I laughed my butt off at the Snuggie, even got into a squabble over a white elephant gift one year that involved a Snuggie! Snuggie has a certain humorous respectability in the consumer world!  Apparently Forever Lazy wants a piece of the market! Now as I admitted earlier, I was pondering one of these absurd little gems as a great gag gift for the firehouse!  But after seeing the commercial and reflecting on their wonderful marketing strategy. I think not! Tearing down the human fabric that is our society,  I say not only no, butt heck no!  There will be no Forever Lazy in my household or fire station!  I have banned them completely from existence! 

Never have I seen such blatant use of the word lazy in describing the great people of this nation!  Never have I seen men, women and children all portrayed as such horrendous lazy sloths!  I will never stand by idly as a company states and I quote; Everyone can watch the big game while dad does what he does best! (dad is on the couch asleep) Being lazy?????  Sleeping????? Drunk??? Is that really what dad does best?  Apparently the household runs itself, or has Forever Lazy provided maids, accountants, teachers, coaches and cooks with every purchase of a Forever Lazy @ $29.99 plus shipping?  Well I for one wont stand for it and neither should you!  Put on a comfy pair of sweat pants!  A nice long-sleeved shirt or sweater will do!  Heck buy a Snuggie! Watch the Forever Lazy ad, you can find it on YouTube!  They even have you wearing this thing to a football stadium!  Yuck! Its like walking around in a pair of footsie pajamas!  Oh yeah and its ok to be out in public with the darn thing on because it has dual trap doors so you can go to the bathroom! Can you imagine sitting on a toilet in a giant Sham-Wow! Can you say germ magnet!! 

Let your kids know how highly you think of them by purchasing them anything that doesn’t lead to laziness or is associated with laziness by name!  Just think your kid has straight A’s and then for Christmas you purchase the Forever Lazy as a lark.  Now little Johnny is confused.  What message is mommy and daddy sending me?  Am I working to hard?  Should I be lazy?  Should I be “Forever Lazy”? When I grow up am I going to end up doing what dad does best? Little Johnny slips into the Lazy suit and Bam! Brain cells start dying, next thing you know its X-box all the time, he never gets off the couch, grades all drop to a D and little Johnny is headed to reform school!  All because you bought into the Forever Lazy hype!

I know it’s not really that way, I am just worked up and rambling!  But really no company should ever portray people as moronic, idiotic and lazy, especially when it involves the family circle.  Humor is one thing, ignorance is another, but pandering ignorance is the very worst kind of sales tactic around.  So please remember this, you are a reflection of all the people who helped you to become who you are today.  If I see you with a Forever Lazy on well, game over my friend, game over….

Dads work is never done

Sooooo finished the laundry only to find my daughter has been hiding more food in her room. She has an issue with sneaking food in the middle of the nigh and although she gets plenty to eat during the day and we have put a plate out with items on them she can have at night so she doesnt have to feel like she is sneaking, she is still doing it anyway. Dont know what to do next. Dont want to her to feel bad about herself but also dont like her sneaking..