So, I made a deal with my wife after she said I wouldn’t blog. She says that I talk A LOT of BULLSHIT but I don’t follow through. Sometimes, she is right, and as most husbands can attest, it is not easy saying that. You know the deal. We say “I’ll get the garbage,” but we end up falling asleep on the couch. We say “I’ll pick up my dirty laundry,” but we just step over it the next day. Things like that happen all the time in most houses.
Recently, I have been talking a lot of bullshit about wanting to start a blog and/or a podcast. There are a whole bunch of people doing it, and I know I can do it, but I make all the usual excuses. You know, “I don’t have the time”, “we are too busy with the kids”, “you won’t like what I have to say”, blah, blah, blah. In a word, BULLSHIT.
Now, she comes up with a bet that I have to take. Hell, I work in a race and sports book in Las Vegas, making odds and taking bets everyday from complete strangers, I can’t resist a bet from her. She says she will start cooking meals so we can eat at home as a family more often, but if she does, I have to start blogging. I think the direct quote was “Watch, I will cook for a week straight, and you won’t write a damn thing!” If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is…
And that leads us to right here, right now…We had an amazing Teriyaki Chicken and Vegetable Dish with Rice tonight, and it was REALLY good. This was after we had an after school late lunch of grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup and homemade smoothies. No BULLSHIT, my pepper jack grilled cheese was good, and dinner was awesome. The bet was made, and I am paying with this first post.
PARENTING IN 2014
Before I get into the post directly, I have to provide you with some background. I am the father of three amazing, beautiful, loving daughters, ages 10, 8 and one month. YES, that is correct, I live in a house with four women. I call it my OCEAN of ESTROGEN. I need a life preserver most days up in this mother while mama duck and her chicks swim around. It’s no joke. My favorite word is “OK”, and my daily mantra is “go along to get along.” And there is only ONE menstrual cycle going on right now in this ocean. I don’t even want to think about when that tidal wave of emotions hits this ocean.
As you can imagine, emotions run high here, and the tide can change at a moment’s notice. There is no warning, no emergency broadcast system alert, no SOS, nada. One second, it looks like on golden pond, the next its a typhoon. I am sure that is just the nature of being married and having kids, but in the ocean of estrogen, I am usually the one left floating with one of those little, circular, styrofoam life vests. Wading in the water, waiting for the storm swell to calm.
The wave usually hits, and nobody saw it coming. I feel like one of those lifeguards on the beach, just hanging out, looking out through my binoculars, watching for possible trouble spots. The older sister calling the younger one a name, the younger one poking the older one looking to get a rise out of her, anyone fighting over the remote or what to watch on TV, the baby crying for who knows what, nobody listening to their mother, etc, etc. You have all been there… it’s a daily grind.
Tonight’s episode went something like this… I take the kids to their softball batting practice at the batting cages while mama stays at home with the baby to finish cooking dinner. It’s a one hour session with the team, and we are done at 7:30. We get home in 10 minutes, they are hungry, I am hungry, and we are all looking forward to this wonderful dinner that mama prepared for us. The kids jump out of the car in the driveway and run into the house. I turn off the minivan, and I leisurely stroll into the house maybe a minute later, but no more than two, for sure. Coming off a good practice, some good adult conversation with other parents at the cages, and a good song on the radio, I am feeling good and really looking forward to a great dinner.
Ten steps into the house, I am in the kitchen, and then… BOOM!!! I never saw it coming. Mama is yelling at the ten year old, the eight year old is sitting at the table patiently waiting for a dish of food, the baby is crying, and I have no idea what just happened. The 10 year old is just staring blankly at mama, then me, the eight year old shrugs her shoulders, and then mama says in true Pittsburghese, “You are all acting like jagoffs! Have a nice dinner without me. This is why I don’t cook.”
I immediately pour gasoline on the fire and yell louder, “WHAT the HELL just happened? Who said what? WHY is everybody YELLING??? What is going on?” The response— crickets…blank stares…stugatz…nothing… Then, mama grabs the baby and storms up the stairs, mumbling who knows what to who knows who. The kids are looking at me as I slam my ball cap on to the couch and yell “What about dinner?” The eight year old ran by me on her way up the stairs to find mommy. The ten year old eyed me up and down like she was going to make a move or call child protection services. I froze up, then I said “DAMMIT” at the top of my lungs, and went for a walk.
I walked for 15 minutes around the block, talking to myself the entire time (except the 10 seconds I walked by a guy with headphones and a backpack, pausing to respond to his “How’s it going”), and came back home. The front door, which I left open, is now locked. I rang the doorbell. The 10 year old answered and opened the door. Nervously, I took the fifteen steps into the kitchen, and I was nothing short of amazed at what I saw.
Sitting around the table, mama, the kids, the baby in her bouncer, and dinner on the table. Smiles on everybody’s faces. Manners being used. Amazing aromas floating around. WHAT THE HELL JUST HAPPENED??? It looks, sounds and smells like a Norman Rockwell painting in here.
“Are you going to join us for dinner?,” Mama asked. Sure. I sit down, and get a full plate of this teriyaki chicken that I can’t wait to try. It’s so peaceful, the food is great, and I am afraid to move let alone ask a question. But, I can’t help it. I mean, I am the captain of this ship. So, I float it out there. “Can somebody please tell me what happened in the two minutes from the car to the kitchen?”
The answer comes from my lovely wife. “Nothing. Everybody has something to say, but it’s over. Let it go. We all know you are crazy and that is it.”
OH, OK. That is it. The bet is paid off and the BULLSHIT blog begins.