Shell Shock

Now that it’s day two I know what to listen for.

It starts as a low grumbling/gurgling sound followed by a small whine that builds to a loud cry.

That’s when he explodes.

Or should explode.

Truth is something only happens about 50% of the time but the signs are the same either way.

When it does come I don’t know from which end so proper containment of the situation is difficult at best. Should I put the bowl under his chin? Should make sure the towel is properly positioned under his butt in case the diaper doesn’t hold?

It usually doesn’t matter.

No matter how well I prepare I will be vomited or shat upon to some degree.

Then it’s the shrill crying screams as the cleaning up process begins.

I try to explain to him that there are ways that we don’t have to get so… messy. But he doesn’t heed my advise. Probably because he’s a baby and really understands nothing.

I’m trying to hold on mentally, but being stuck in one place with too little sleep and too much coffee is beginning to take its toll.

And I can hear the grumbling starting again…

Kids These Days

“The children now love luxury; they have bad manners, contempt for
authority; they show disrespect for elders and love chatter in place
of exercise. Children are now tyrants, not the servants of their
households. They no longer rise when elders enter the room. They
contradict their parents, chatter before company, gobble up dainties
at the table, cross their legs, and tyrannize their teachers.

 Attributed to SOCRATES by Plato

My first draft of this post was a long angry rant that was peppered with phrases like “… need to keep their fucking mouths shut” and “… anecdotal bullshit from ignorant assholes”. After rereading it and calming down a bit I realized that I didn’t need to be so aggressive and long-winded to get a point across.

So…

If you read the quote at the top of the page it’s obvious that the “kids these days” complaint has been going on for a long, long time.

It’s not the way they’re being raised.

It’s not the kinds of punishments that are or are not being doled out.

Kids are Kids. They have always been a pain to the older generations and will always be.

And always remember two things: all the “good kids” out there are easy to forget because they don’t do anything to stand out and the discipline you received as a child that made you such a upstanding adult was because you were acting like snot nosed little brat who didn’t listen or respect their elders.

A New Approach

I’m done.

I’ve tried traditional punishments.

I’ve tried reasoning with them.

I’ve tried denying them things.

I’ve tried incentives.

I’ve tried a more active lifestyle with more stimulation.

I’ve tried a calmer, less stimulating lifestyle.

But my oldest is still ADD addled, impulsive and prone to explosive meltdowns and my now four year-old child, Demon Spawn, is still contrary and stubborn.

So, I’m going to try the hands off approach. I’m going to love them, feed them, clothe them and keep a roof over their heads but other than that I’m going to leave them be, just see what happens.  And maybe I can go full on hippy with it and try to find some weed (I think I might still know a guy) and just sit back and be pleasantly baked all day while my children bring about the kinds of chaos that only exists in the fever dreams of the most dedicated of anarchist.

This seems like a great plan. And at the very least I’ll be much more chill…

So I Went Back Home Again And It Was OK

They (who ever “they” are, and in this case I think the “they” is a who and I’m pretty sure the who is Tom Wolfe) say you can never go home again. That statement is total and complete bullshit of highest order.

I’ll totally admit that sometimes going back to your hometown, especially if it’s been awhile, can be a bit awkward, but for most people getting back into the swing of things doesn’t take a whole lot of doing.

If your blessed like I am and your hometown is Charleston, SC  “getting back in the swing of things” means good food and good conversation with people you haven’t seen in a while while standing around a fire sipping beer and occasionally taking a taste of home-made corn liquor.  Which to say, in the colloquial tongue of my people, “ain’t really all that hard”.

So yeah, that part of going home was pretty enjoyable.

It wasn’t all great though; my wife ran a low-grade fever most of the weekend and only got more and more annoyed when I tried to cure it with more cowbell, two out of the three of my children are bruised, scabbed and battered due to hard play and for the first time in my life I can say I’m completely sick of oysters due to eating them almost every meal for two straight days (two bushels were too much).

But over all it was an good enough trip to counteract this problem.

Except for homesickness.

That may be worse.

Driving The Last Nail In My Bourgeois Coffin

I went to the gym today.

And I wasn’t there to fix something or to deliver a pizza.

No, I was there because I no longer drag waterlogged ship lines across the decks of barges. I was there because I no longer throw around truck tires or fight two thousand pound draft horses. Because I spend almost no time walking miles through the woods in pursuit  of game or along mountains streams looking for fish.

What I’ve been doing is watching a lot of Sesame Street and changing diapers.

This is doing nothing for my health.

So, as of this morning, I started going to the gym.

It was a shock.

I started off on the cross trainer which I’m pretty sure was invented around the same time as the rack and thumb screw. I did a mile. I fell down because my legs didn’t work when I got off it.

I then walked a mile on the track to get my legs working again. I was repeatedly lapped by old people speed-walking.

Then I did some weight training, which I thought would go alright because I’m pretty good at lifting heavy things, but it didn’t go alright. My left arm now hates me.

All of this was topped off by numerous naked men in the locker room. I’ve never seen another man nude in real life. Not while sober. I didn’t realize how much alcohol cushioned the shock before now.

And I’m planing on doing it all over again on Friday…

A Letter About My Star Student

My wife and I were asked to write a letter about my oldest son to be read aloud in class due to him being this weeks “Star Student”. My wife made me write the letter because of “you write stuff”. So I found myself tasked with writing something for a bunch of seven and eight year-olds.

The following is what I came up with. (I changed my son’s name to Lloyd to protect his identity and because of this.)

A Brief History of Lloyd Blah Blah Blah

Lloyd was born early, really, really early on the morning of June 7, 2005 in Brooklyn, NY. His parents had been up the previous 48 hours before this birth occurred due to what is known as labor, which is what they call all the stuff that happens to the mom so she can have a baby, and were very, very tired when he was finally out in the world. The next day after Lloyd’s parents had a bit of sleep they were very excited about their brand new baby boy.
Lloyd spent the next six months of his life doing the things babies do when they live in New York City: riding the subway, going to the park, taking long rides in the stroller, listening to people screaming at each other in the streets, waking up in the middle of the night every time a siren blared from the firehouse down the street, eating, pooping, crying and other assorted baby like things. Lloyd and his parents quickly grew tired of life in New York. So they moved to Rome, GA.
Rome, GA was terribly boring. So they moved to Lloyd’s parents hometown of Charleston, SC.
In Charleston, Lloyd and his family lived in a bottom floor apartment of a huge and very old house near the center of the city. During this time Lloyd spent lots of time taking walks with his mom, playing in playgrounds and exploring the many old and interesting graveyards scattered around the city. Lloyd also spent a lot of time with his dad near the old city market where he got to help take care of the big horses that pulled the tourist that visited the city around on carriages.
Living in this bottom floor apartment in this big, old house is where Lloyd finally started talking at the age of three (and hasn’t stopped talking since) and where he was living when his brother Demon Spawn was born. Lloyd and his family were very happy living in this place and once, somewhat famously, Lloyd’s dad said that he wouldn’t move from where they were living “until something terrible happens”. Not long after Lloyd’s dad said that the big, old house burnt down…
But Lloyd and his family were helped by lots of great people and moved to another house in Charleston where they lived happily for a few more years until Lloyd’s mom got a job as a school librarian in Rock Hill, SC.
Rock Hill was very exciting for Lloyd because this is where he started going to school, where his other little brother The Baby was born and, as far as Lloyd and his family can tell, will be a place that they will stay for a long time.

So I asked “Lloyd” what he and the class thought of the letter.

“We liked the part with the poop.”