Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cockroaches and baby poop

When I was a kid we lived in Las Vegas, Nevada. We lived there from the time I was five until I was ten, so I don't remember if we lived in a super fancy neighborhood. I suspect we did not, and I suspect this because of my memories of my parents' war on cockroaches.

The war dragged on the entire time we lived in Nevada and at the end of five years they hadn't even put a dent in the cockroach population. After all, my parents were outnumbered 50 million to two. They kept the house super clean and sprayed all kinds of poisons, but the roaches kept coming back. The poison that worked the best was called a “roach fogger” or a “roach bomb.” My parents would plan a weekend trip and pack us all into the car. Then at the last minute my dad would run into the house and set up the “bombs” in different rooms in the house, and then come running out of the house and lock the door. We'd return home after the weekend away and find hundreds of roaches all over the house, upside down and dead. My parents would sweep and/or vacuum up the roaches and our house would be roach free for about 30 minutes.

This weekend I learned how those cockroaches felt.

First, let me explain that Junior got an ear infection last week and he just finished a round of antibiotics. I guess when you're taking antibiotics, the bad bacteria gets thrown out with the good. So all of Junior's “good” stomach bacteria died along with his bad ear infection bacteria, and it has messed up his digestion. He is excreting a steady stream of baby poop and needs to be changed every half hour like clockwork. This spike in baby poop production conveniently coincided with an early morning trip to the beautiful city of Roswell. On the way back we had to stop at the side of the road several times and change him. I am many things, but I am no litterer, so when there was no place to throw the dirty diapers I just dropped them on the floor of the back seat. When we got back home we were exhausted from our adventures and went inside for a nap.

Meanwhile, three diapers chock full of baby poop were sitting on the floor of my car, baking in the sun with all the windows rolled up.

A few hours went by and I had to run to the store to get a few things. I opened the car door and my eyes immediately started to water from the smell. I felt wobbly and... That's all I remember because I blacked out after that. My wife saw me slumped over the steering wheel, came out and dragged me to safety.

In the future, I'm gonna think twice before I fumigate a cockroach.

Have you ever made this diaper mistake? Or fought a losing cockroach war? Leave a comment, it's easy AND fun!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Becoming my father: PART 2

Today’s blog is another installment of my ongoing series on me turning into my father. According to Science, to be a father you must be irritated at least 85% of the time. That leaves you 9% of the time to be furious, 5% of the time to be sleeping and 1% of the time to be perfectly content because your kid is asleep and – for one fleeting moment – quiet prevails. If you’re not irritated 85% percent of the time, you’re probably a Sunday father or a godfather or Father Time or whatever, but you’re not a real father.

Junior and I went to the grocery store the other day and I wore flip flops, which I had mistakenly thought were safe to wear grocery shopping. Junior was sitting in the cart and as we were checking out, he snatched a “family” size can of clam chowder and dropped it directly onto my toe.

“Just what is your problem?” I demanded while hopping on one foot.

He just smiled his adorable baby smile and grabbed another can.

“He’s so cute!” said the grocery clerk.

“You shut up!”

I was feeding him the other day and he was making his displeasure known by spitting food everywhere.

“He doesn’t like it,” my wife said.

“He doesn’t like it?” I ranted. “If he doesn’t like it then he can get a job, get up early and go to work everyday and buy his own stupid food. Then he can have sweet potatoes and mangoes all day, everyday, no problem. But until that time, HE’S HAVING PEAS!”

Another big part of being a father is giving “life lessons” and having extensive knowledge on “real life” and “the real world.”

“So you don’t like peas?” I continued. “I wish I could just sit around and do just what I like all day. Oh yes! Wouldn’t that be nice? But that’s not real life!”

Junior just cocked his head and looked at me as if to say, “I have not yet fully acquired your language, but I’m getting the vibe that you’re kinda crazy. Perhaps more than ‘kinda.’”

Whenever I put my son in his crib for a nap, he flails, flops around and howls like I’ve dropped him into an anthill, which totally blows my mind. Why would one resist taking a nap in the middle of the day? I don’t see what there is to complain about. A baby doesn’t have anything on his “to do” list but (1) eat, (2) poop and (3) pull all the Kleenex out of the box and sprinkle them throughout the house. And then he gets to take a nap. Two a day, even. That sounds amazing. I’d give my right arm to take two naps a day.

If there were some kind of right-arm-for-napping-privileges exchange program, that is.

What are some other things that all dads do? Leave a comment, if you like.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Venn Diagram of Love

When you marry someone the two of you make this Venn diagram of interests: there is a bunch of stuff in the middle that you have in common, but on either side you have the stuff that one spouse likes but the other isn’t really into and/or hates.

The hard part is trying to keep up with the interests you have that aren’t shared by your spouse without driving them insane. Do you take them along, knowing they’ll hate every minute? Do you leave them at home while you go out? Do you both do your own thing separately? Is that weird? Or healthy? The short answer is: Not sure.

I used to go to punk shows all the time, and when we were dating I would drag my wife along. Eventually she sweetly told me, “Hey, no offense, but I’m just under five feet tall, so I can’t see anything but the back of the guy in front of me.” So we agreed that when I wanted to go to a show, I’d go with a tall friend and she could do her own thing.

My wife likes to watch romantic comedies, and I… strongly dislike romantic comedies. How we get around this difference is: I watch romantic comedies and keep my complaints to myself.

My wife is really good about trying new things. For instance, the other day she went to a UFO forum with me. The guy speaking started to explain how a lot of people try to understand extraterrestrials through science, but a better way is to understand them through illicit substances and the occult.

He said that UFOs don’t come from outer space, they come from another dimension. The only surefire way to open a door into another dimension is to take LSD and a little marijuana for good measure. If you don’t have any LSD handy, several mushrooms will work in a pinch. According to him, once you take LSD you will start seeing a “buttload” of UFOs. (I promise this really happened.)

If LSD doesn’t work for you, he said, your best bet is to summon an alien through an occult ritual, such as chanting, reading spells out of a book or mixing up an alien-summoning potion. He also stated that, in the past, women have been able to successfully summon alien babies into their wombs and later gave birth to alien children. He was a little fuzzy on the details when asked about the current whereabouts of these alien babies. The tricky thing about alien potions is that the mixture is very volatile and many a good alien enthusiast has blown themselves up mixing up a batch. I had the thought that alien-summoning potion sounded eerily similar to a little something called “meth.” (This all really happened, I swear.)

It was quite a lot of information, and he was perfectly serious as he spoke. At the end of the lecture my wife looked terrified.

“You owe me, like, ten romantic comedies after this,” she said. “And Sandra Bullock has to be in at least two of them.”

I’ve found the simplest way to solve the problem of differing interests between spouses is to have a baby, because then you won’t have enough time or money to have interests.

What do you think: what stuff should you do as a couple, and what stuff should you do separately? What stuff is it important to have in common? Please leave a comment.