Saturday, March 28, 2009

My Little Girl Is Growing Up...

This is one of those posts that probably won't translate quite the way I intended it to. But I have to tell you that I couldn't help myself this time. I've always tried to write this blog with sincerity. I continually try to put my heart out there for everyone to see. I have also been very conscious of keeping the content of this blog to that of a more anecdotal tone. In other words, I don't like bragging about my kids or gushing over their specific achievements or milestones. I try not to post cutesy pictures of birthday parties, messy cupcake faces or first poop poops on the potty. Not that there's anything wrong with that at all. There are a ton of great parenting blogs that chronicle the lives of their kids and they are absolutely adorable. This blog has been more about my experiences as a dad and how I've dealt or not dealt with those experiences. I try to find an overarching connection with parents. I often say some of the stuff that everyone is thinking about but doesn't want to say out loud. Most of the time I try to do this with humor and sometimes it happens to come across in a more serious way. This time I have to make an exception. Today I am the proudest I've ever been as a father. Today my little angel showed me how she is changing from a little girl into a young lady. Today my eyes welled up with tears of joy for the first time in as long as I can remember. I can only assume that there are just a few precious moments in a parent's lifetime that one can honestly look back on and say, "You know what? I guess I did something right all those years ago. Look at my baby now." So I have to apologize for what I'm about to share with you because it goes against the very fundamental philosophy of this blog. I can't help it but my baby just made me so darn proud. I've been on cloud 9 all day.

You see, last night my six and half year old princess threw up in the toilet. That's right. She woke up in the middle of the night with a stomach virus and she puked in the bowl all by herself. She didn't cry. She didn't make a mess. She didn't wake her younger sister. Gosh darn it, she even held her hair back all by herself. That my friends is a mature and selfless act. I didn't even have to get out of bed. Of course I felt terrible and was very concerned but my wife went to check on her so I figured I'd keep the bed warm. I had also taken Tylenol PM so I was extra lazy. Hearing her hurl from the bathroom down the hall brought back memories of college. I dated girls back then that couldn't of found the shitter if they had a GPS attached to their head. **

Most kids don't think about regurgital etiquette in the heat of the moment. Usually it's a barftacular mess. Puke on the sheets, puke on the floor, puke on the pajamas. There have been nights when my wife and I spent hours cleaning up chunks of meat sauce and pedialyte only to find ourselves gagging in tandem until the sun came up. I'm not sure what made the difference this time. I'm not sure what triggered that little inner voice in her head to say, "I'm gonna be a little debutante tonight and heave with dignity and grace. I'm gonna make my pappa proud." You know what? I couldn't care less why it happened. You don't question miracles. You take life's little gifts as they are handed to you and you savor them like gobstoppers or White Castle cheeseburgers. This weekend I saw a transformation in my baby girl and it made me feel sentimental. It gave me pause to appreciate that there are certain things you can't necessarily teach your children but somehow they are resourceful enough to learn it themselves. Tonight my daughter blew chunks in the toilet all by herself and I consider myself the luckiest son of a bitch on the face of the earth.

Postscript - My younger daughter inevitably caught the stomach virus and puked all over her self and her crib at 3am the next morning. Suffice it to say my moment was short but it was a moment nonetheless...

**The GPS or Global Positioning System was not available for civilian use until 1995. This was three years after I graduated college. It would have been impossible for any girl I dated at the time (as referenced in this post) to have had access to a GPS , let alone have one attached to her head. This reference was used with creative license for the sole purpose of adding humor to said Out-Numbered anecdote.


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Things That Suck About Having Kids... Part One

Warning: Please do NOT read this post if you think your kids are perfect, if you are easily offended by inappropriate language or if you have a shitty sense of humor about your children. Continue reading only if you admit that your kids are annoying or that they have sucked at any point in time.


I love being a dad. That much I can tell you. I can list a number of reasons that would support that statement but for now I choose not to. What happens to be on my mind lately is how much having kids can suck. I'm not saying that having children sucks all of the time but rather a majority of the time. I know that most parents think their kids are annoying. I know that most parents tend not to talk about this in public. I also know what parents think are annoying about their kids. How do I know this? Because I asked. This is only a small sampling of what you said:

The fact that I have to fight with them to take a shower. They act like I am asking for a limb rather than just asking them to clean themselves. That they are comfortable being slimy, smelly and dirty... - Wendy, Facebook

Remember "the most annoying sound in the world" from Dumb & Dumber? My 6yr old is a pro at it ALL.DAY.LONG. - indigoeyes, Twitter

That despite having saved the receipt you can't return or exchange them. - David, Facebook

Realizing that you could have had the souped up Porsche for the same price as private school. - Rudy, Facebook

OK besides the delivery, the honesty..."mama, you smell like wine....again". Yup, delivery and honesty those are the most annoying. I love those little bitches otherwise. :-) - Elizabeth, Facebook

endless talking, sibling squabbles & they throw a bright light on every unflattering aspect of my personality, daily. - thejavaqueen, Twitter

The fact that they ask the same thing over and over and over and over...they simply wear you down. - Scott, Facebook

The inordinate amount of crap you have to take with you EVERYWHERE! diapers, butt cream, extra bottle in case you're going somewhere anti-boob, change of clothing, car seat, car seat adapter, toys, extra blankets, teething rings, teething ointment, a bag for all of it, then the stroller....and for an 18 lbs person! - Denise, Facebook

The fact that one eats in the kitchen and one eats in the dining room because one chews too loud and one breathes too loud. - Eden, Facebook

But why? But why? But why? - theweirdgirl, Twitter

The fact that I can't go to see a grown up movie whenever I damn well please. Oh, yeah, the WHHHHIIIIIINNNNGGGG too! - Melissa, Facebook

Well, thanks for sharing your uncensored and brutally honest thoughts about what annoys you most about having kids. I think we can all take comfort in the fact that none of us are alone in sharing this sentiment. The following is a short list of sucky and annoying things from my Out-Numbered perspective. They are listed in no particular order. Let me know if any of these sound familiar to you.

1. The smell of shit and pee.



There are times when living with little children seems no different than living with a deranged homeless person or an untrained dog. The constant, often volatile outbursts and the frequent lingering smell of feces. Even with the invention and assimilation of modern day plumbing, we as parents are still forced to wallow in an endless mass of kid poop and pee.

2. Small and excruciatingly annoying repertoire of music.



It goes without saying that staple tunes like Itsy Bitsy Spider, London Bridges and that piece of shit song, Frere Jacques can drive a parent insane. But to me it's the new generation of mediocrity that makes me want to jab pencils into my ears. Please wrangle up Barney, Dan Zane and The Wiggles and blast them all into space at once.

3. Snot



The only thing that makes me gag more than handling another human being's excrement is accidentally getting my kid's rubbery, sticky snot caught on my finger or any other part of my body for that matter. Snot fun at all...

4. Crazy Ass Kid Sicknesses



Fifth Disease, Ring Worm, Whooping Cough, Roseola (also known as Sixth Disease) and Croup are just a few of the ultra disgusting and completely mind baffling names of some common kid illnesses. The names of these illnesses are so unfamiliar to the average human that when you become a parent you actually think for a second that you've been transported to some kind of messed up Little House on the Prairie parallel universe. Throw in the locusts and we're all set to go.

5. Car Seats



Is it me or does it seem like it's absolutely impossible to install a car seat without professional help? Setting up one of these bad boys is not dissimilar to Greco-Roman Wrestling. I've thrown my back out on numerous occasions, bloodied my hands and slammed my head into the roof of my car, all while trying to ensure the safety and well being of my kids. My wife literally has to make an appointment with the local Fire Department to have this done properly. I wouldn't be surprised if Ashton Kutcher was behind it all.

6. Hip Hop Harry



Words can't describe the amount of hate I feel towards the creators of this hairy, condescending, monster. I am convinced that Lucifer himself lives beneath the Hip Hop Harry costume. If you haven't heard of this show, please ignore this portion of the list.

7. Birthday Parties



Is there nothing original left in this world? Can we as parents possibly think of something else to do other than heave our children into giant inflatable bouncing castles and eating pizza? There's got to be a better, cheaper way to treat our kids to a party. Having an open bar or even a keg for the adults wouldn't hurt either.

8. 9. and 10. The inability to listen, short term memory and the obsession with cameras and phones.

My kids refuse to even look me in the eyes when I'm speaking to them let alone acknowledge that there has been an exchange of information between us. I am convinced that a child is incapable of listening until he or she reaches the age of 12. Then the ability is again impaired until the age of 21.

Kids have the uncanny ability to remember all sorts of things from months and years past. That time they went swimming at Uncle Jarvis's pool, three summers ago. Clear as a bell. I've even heard of instances where a child has very vivid recollections of time in the womb. But God strike me down if my kid happens to remember how to wipe her own ass or that I said no candy before 10am. Jeez Louise.

Why is it that all kids are obsessed with handling our cameras and cell phones but none of them will pose for a God damn picture or leave you alone for a nano-second when it's time to make an important call?

I'm going to sleep. Anyone else out there feeling Out-Numbered?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Don't Panic Until You See The Zombies...

Ok people. If you haven't already noticed, we're fucked. The housing market shit the bed a year or two ago. The credit crisis has pretty much crippled our economy and the stock market feels about the same as a drunken weekend in Vegas gone awry. Folks that were once considered filthy rich are either in prison or living in their parent's basement. Everyday people that work like dogs to support their families are losing their jobs, their houses and basically fighting for their collective lives. Small businesses can't get loans from banks that were once giving away cash like beads at Mardi Gras. Our educational system is under funded and broken. Young men and women are dying in countries whose names we can't even pronounce. For god sakes, Paula Abdul has a career! What the hell is going on in this country?

It's hard enough to be a parent and a husband when everything is perfect. Even when all the stars in the sky are aligned and the moon is full, I pretty much suck at raising my kids. I have to admit that most of the time I'm pretty clueless when it comes to doling out advice to my daughters. I have no prior experience as a parent. There was no friggin' kid manual that came out of my wife's vagina on the days my daughters were born. This actually pisses me off a bit considering you can buy a clock radio and there are instructions in English, Spanish, French, Armenian and Belorussian.

For some reason my wife seems to know what she's doing. Sometimes I personally think the stuff that comes out of her mouth is crazy momma, crack pipe talk but somehow it sounds legit. Whenever I try and have a serious talk with my kids I start out all Maria von Trapp and somehow end up sounding like Pee Wee Herman all confused and angry.

The other day I attended my six year old's Parent / Teacher conference. If I have to listen to someone tell me how "smart" my kid is one more time before I get the old one-two punch in the face with "but her behavior concerns me", I'm gonna lose my mind.
After that dandy of a meeting, I posted this status message on my Facebook page: Jason Mayo is trying to figure out how to raise a kid. I think I suck at it...

By mid-day I had 34 comments! Basically every parent that saw that status message came clean with his or her own confession of parental lameness. Even though that surprised the shit out of me, I found it really comforting to know that I wasn't the only crappy Dad out there messing up my kid's life. It seemed fairly unanimous amongst the masses that we basically haven't got a clue as to how to raise our kids.

The bottom line is that it's really tough to raise a family, be a good spouse and bring home the bacon all at the same time. Now to make it worse, the whole world is falling apart around us. That's a lot of stress and a huge cross to bare for anyone, let alone a schmuck like me. So this morning I went looking for answers. Anything to make me feel a little bit better about where I'm at. I found something that made me feel a little bit better. Something that made me see the distinct parallels in life that we sometimes miss when we're caught up in our own measly existence. You see, our parents didn't exactly have it easy either and they wound up making it out alive. As a matter of fact we were the kids that they thought they were screwing up back then. Some of us even grew up to write a lame ass Parenting Blog. Go figure. So the bottom line is... same old, same old. Don't stress. Relinquish some of the burden to a higher power and enjoy what little we have left in this crazy day and age. We hopefully have health, our kids, our wives and husbands and the hope that this great country of ours will repair itself one stitch at a time.

In case you don't remember, we've been there before. The following essay appeared in the Merrick Life newspaper on Thursday, October 16th 1980. It was written by yours truly as a 9 year old during one of those periods in history when I could only imagine my parents were wondering, what's next?

“IF I WERE PRESIDENT..." by Jason Mayo

Great presidents have shaped history with their deeds and ideas. But if I were president, I would be responsible for all troubles that occurred and I'd lay them out on the table and do the best I can.

An unresolved problem that began on November 4, 1979 is the captivity of 52 American hostages, held prisoners, at the American Embassy in Teheran. First I would do something about strengthening our armed forces and do the best I can to get them back. The hostages have been held in Iran for almost a year and if just one plot of killing were overheard, I would declare immediate action by sending military forces to Iran to declare war. Unless they would immediately let the completely innocent hostages go unharmed.

As president I would handle the draft with more concern. It would be mandatory that all 18-year-old boys and girls be sent to the armed forces. The only choice a person would have would be to decide which service one would like to be in. I would establish a minimum service of one full year. We definitely need more support for our armed forces. I would encourage positions for the handicapped and make as much use of their abilities and interests.

Unemployment is a lack of work and when someone is fired he can apply for unemployment benefits. The government has set aside money for this. People can get paid a small wage when they report to the unemployment office. If I were president I would make provisions to extend benefits to those who want to benefit themselves by going to school. The law would allow them to collect while they took a short program to improve their skills. This would qualify more people for specific or specialized positions.

It would not be an easy task as president of the U.S. but if I were able to accomplish the above tasks successfully then I would be proud to say, "I contributed to my country's history.”


You said it brother... Words to live by in a time when we all feel, Out-Numbered...

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

The Star Mangled Banner

Next time Jerry Springer gets the invite... video

Be careful when you piss on big sister's parade. You're flirting with disaster. You have to admire the tenacity of a younger sister though. It's not an easy life. Even after she gets the snot beaten out of her she keeps her composure. The true sign of a warrior. I can smell a good cat fight from a mile away... MEOW!

Friday, March 13, 2009

My Life Would Suck Without Her...

In 1982 I bought my first electric guitar. I was twelve years old. It was a used black Memphis. I bought it from Danny Tramantozzi. It was an absolute piece of shit. That didn't really matter though. I couldn't really play anything at that point anyway. I bought it with the hope that I would someday be able to Rock. On that day I made a promise to myself. I made the ultimate commitment. I pledged my skinny ass, freckled face allegiance to Heavy Metal. I would only worship the Metal Gods. Hard Rock was to be my lover and I was a one woman kind of guy.

I had just started taking guitar lessons from the neighborhood guitar teacher. His name was George Marshall (like the amplifier). He had long brown hair and a beard. He wore a black leather motorcycle jacket and he always reeked of smoke. He definitely lived with his mom. I had no idea what to expect but I was terrified none the less. For about two years George came to my house every week and taught me the intricacies of Heavy Metal Guitar. He relentlessly made me practice the almighty bar chord until my fingers bled. He mocked me until I was able to glide through riffs like Crazy Train by OZZY and Rainbow in the Dark by DIO. He didn't bother to teach me how to read notes or waste time on the finer points of music theory. I didn't need that crap where I was headed. All I needed was my AXE and my mullet and no less than three major bar chords. I was his Ace of Spades and he was the Master of Puppets. No matter the cost, I would pay The Price.

By 1984 I bought my second electric guitar. It was a turquoise blue BC RICH Bitch. It was like a dick with strings. This guitar was far superior to the Memphis but thanks to George, I was still pretty sucky. It didn't matter though. I was now able to play most heavy metal songs and my mullet was pretty well formed. I had my Bar-Mitzvah earlier that year so I was officially a man. I was ready. That year I formed a band with some of my mates from Junior High School. We called ourselves Black Diamond after the lesser known KISS song. We were on a mission. Battle of the bands. We had until the 9th grade talent show to prepare.

I was the rhythm guitarist and the heart of the band. We had Joey Campo on drums. He was a red headed ball of fire with lightening quick hands and feet. He could play Run to the Hills by Iron Maiden and make it look easy. Scotty Barkan on the bass guitar. He was quiet and unassuming and had the steadiest hands in the band. He might have been the only one out of all of us who actually knew how to read music. He liked Rush. That's how you knew he was good. Then there was Mike Butler on lead guitar. He also took lessons from George Marshall but for some reason he was much better than me. As a matter of fact, I'm pretty sure he was much better than George Marshall. All he ever played was Van Halen and Yngwie Malmsteen. In reality, they probably didn't even need me in the band at all. Most of the time Mike would play my parts as well as his. I think I actually turned my guitar down half the time and faked it. Last but not least we had Brian Bloom on lead vocals. Brian wasn't really a very good singer and he never really rehearsed with us but he was like the best looking guy in the school and he was on As The World Turns that year. It was a no brainer to have him as our front man. If we wanted to have any chance of scoring chicks, we needed a ringer.

When the talent show came we definitely had our act together. I wore ripped jeans with a turquoise blue and black leopard print bandanna tied around my leg. I donned a black t-shirt with a ripped netted mesh turquoise blue shirt on top. Finally a second blue and black leopard print bandanna around my head, Lover Boy style. We played three songs that night. We opened up with Round and Round by RATT. I remember messing up the first part of the solo because my hands were so sweaty I couldn't grip the strings or my pick. I turned my guitar down to half volume about a quarter way through the song and let Mike handle the bulk of the work load. After that song, Mike went into Eruption by Eddie Van Halen. He was amazing. Chicks and dudes a like went nuts while the rest of the band stood on stage and watched. This was by far my favorite part of the show. I felt totally comfortable standing around in my Metal Costume and doing nothing. I was much better at looking like a Rock Star than actually playing like one. We closed out the show with Rock You Like a Hurricane by The Scorpions. Twenty four years later, I can honestly say this is the only song I can still play on my guitar from start to finish. That night was absolutely glorious. We felt like a real Rock Band playing in front of a real Rock crowd. It didn't matter that the crowd sat at lunch tables and we said the pledge of allegiance before they introduced us. We were kings in the castle of Rock. We were Gods being worshiped in the church (or in my neighborhood the Synagogue) of Metal. That show will forever be etched in my memory.

In many ways Heavy Metal has defined who I am as a man. The core foundations of my character were built on the teachings of Rob Halford, Ozzy Osbourne and Ronnie James Dio. I learned how to give and get respect from Joey DeMaio of Manowar. I learned how to love because of Geoff Tate. Heavy metal will always be dear to me and it will forever hold a place in my soul. There are some things that even time can't change.

Until now...

This past Tuesday on a whim I bought the new Kelly Clarkson album on itunes. I listened to it at work that day at least five times. I had it on repeat on my ipod for the entire train ride home that evening. I fell asleep listening to it in my bed that night. The next morning I blasted it while running on the treadmill. I think I ran 15 miles before I realized I was late for work. I listened again on the train to work and again all day and again all night. I cannot stop listening to Kelly Clarkson. She is more powerful than DIO, more mystifying than OZZY and not quite as gay as Rob Halford but close. I don't know WTF is happening to me but I'm going through some sort of metamorphosis and I LOVE IT! I have made a new commitment and it is to Kelly. I would trade my turquoise blue BC RICH BITCH to find out what's behind those Hazel Eyes. Because of her I vow to never stray too far from the sidewalk. I am not exactly sure why I'm feeling this way. But I am sure of one thing. My life would suck without her.

Perhaps being Out-Numbered has something to do with it.

The Top 100 Metal Songs of All Time

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Who's The Meathead Now?

Today my six year old daughter asked me two of the most intellectually profound questions I've ever been asked in my life. This could be due to several things but I'm assuming she's either very smart or I associate with very stupid people. Perhaps it could be a little bit of both.

The two questions were:

1) Why is everything made in China?

and

2) Are you the Tooth Fairy?

The truth is that I really didn't have an answer for either question. It's not even because I didn't know how to explain it in terms that a six year old would comprehend. I just didn't know the answers. However, I did feel that I had a parental responsibility to my child. So I did what any intelligent guardian would do... I made up some stupid shit.

The two answers were:

1) The reason why everything is made in China is because that's where all the most fabulous ingredients are found. You see China is famous for many different things besides the delicious Egg Rolls and Spare Ribs that we enjoy every Sunday evening. In China everything is made of gold and sugar and all of the children go to school to learn how to build toys and Beanie Babies. When the children get to be a certain age, they are taken to a huge cave and participate in a fantastical treasure hunt. On this treasure hunt the children find thousands of gold coins and caramel apples. They stuff them into huge denim messenger bags and then place them onto a conveyor belt made of licorice. The caramel apples and gold coins mix together in such a way that when they are finished on the conveyor belt, they become as malleable as play-doh. At the end of the conveyor belt stands an ancient Wizard who has lived rent stabilized in the cave for over one thousand years. His name is Mr. Miyagi and he is probably the smartest person in the world. Mr. Miyagi takes out all of the ingredients from the bag and places them in an oven that is as big as a house. Everything is cooked at a temperature of approximately 425 degrees for exactly thirty three minutes. When the cooking is complete a trap door in the oven opens up and the finished products fall through a chute that stretches all the way across the world. During their giant free fall, little Chinese beetles gnaw away at the objects until they are turned into various types of toys, stuffed animals and flashing yo yo's. At the end of the journey they are dropped into a giant chariot that transports them to your local Walgreen's. At Walgreen's their is an old woman who smells like coffee ice cream that sews on labels by hand that read "MADE IN CHINA". She does this because even though most boys and girls aren't concerned with where their toys come from, it is very important that credit it given where credit is due.

2) Yes. I am the Tooth Fairy. But nobody knows this, not even your mother. The reason why I have lived this double life for all of these years is because of something that happened to me a long, long time ago. Without going into great detail, I can tell you that these teeth that occupy my mouth are not my own. When I was a young adult before I met your mother, I was lucky enough to meet a beautiful and magical fairy princess. I never learned her name but she was kind enough to grant me one wish in exchange for a prize unknown of her choosing. When she asked me what my wish would be, I paused for a moment and then told her of the one precious thing that I had always dreamed of. I explained to the fairy that I had always dreamed of marrying a beautiful princess just like her fairyness that stood before me. Except the only difference was that the one that I had to marry must be Jewish and American. Unfortunately for me, I was living in a far away land called Long Island and there weren't many Jewish American Princesses to be found. So the fairy said to me that in order for her to grant me this impossible wish, I must give her all of my teeth, never to have them back again. She then explained to me that the only way that I could have teeth again was if I were to agree to become the Tooth Fairy. She went on to explain that as the Tooth Fairy, I would be able to collect the teeth of all the children on Long Island for as long as I lived. I could then take the teeth of these children and place them into my mouth and use them as my own. The only thing she asked of me was that I would swear to keep my secret identity from everyone. Especially the Jewish American Princess that I was to marry. I have never told another soul until this very moment.

Out-Numbered

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Not So Burning Bed…

Lately I’ve been noticing a certain shift in the balance of power in my household. At first It presented it self subtly but it’s gotten quite out of hand as of late. I hate to admit it but I feel like I’m starting to lose control. I am 100% aware that the odds are stacked against me. I am also obviously cognizant of the fact that I am Out-Numbered in more ways than one. I’m ok with all of this. I am at peace with it. I’m playing the hand that I’ve been dealt so to speak. But there are certain atrocities that have been committed. There are certain liberties that have been taken. I like to refer to them as crimes of war. I must draw the line in the sand or lose what little freedom I have left. I must defend my dignity. I must dig the proverbial mote around my castle before it’s too late. I must…

GET MY FUCKING KIDS OUT OF OUR BED!!!

That’s right. You heard me. Those cute, little, happy-go-lucky, miniature, monsters have taken over the last place in our home or in our marriage for that matter that is still sacred. I’ve never been one of those parents that claim to know everything about child rearing. Apart from the very questionable credibility I receive from writing this blog, I’m not sure why I’m still being asked to contribute to various parenting websites. I certainly have never been one to pass judgement on another couple’s style of parenting. I will admit that I’ve always been quietly skeptical of the merits that one would find in allowing your children to share your bed. You hear about it all the time. Everyone knows a family that let’s their children sleep with them. Usually it starts out when they are very young, most probably because of the convenience of close proximity while in the breast-feeding stage. I can see why this would make sense early on but I would imagine it could get downright maddening and uncomfortable, as they grow older and larger. Through the years it never seems to change and there is always some justification to make it seem acceptable. I’ve heard parents say that they don’t even realize when their kid climbs into bed with them in the middle of the night or that they let them come in only if they have a bad dream and can’t fall back asleep. My personal favorite is, we only let our child sleep in our bed on the weekend. On the weekend? Are you on kiddie crack? I’ll be the first one to admit that my wife and I aren’t exactly swingers. We certainly aren’t doing Mickey Rourke / Kim Basinger type shit. We don’t even have a sex swing. But the weekend? I’m of the Lionel Ritchie school of thought. If my wife and I didn’t have Sunday morning, we wouldn’t have any kids. That’s why I’m easy. It’s like sexual Tivo. Set it up in my favorites and let it go. This is why I never thought it would happen to me. I still until this very moment have been in complete denial.

I’m a firm believer in the philosophy of: if you give an inch, they will take a mile. Here is the back-story. I’m sort of a closet neat freak. I know it drives my wife crazy at times but I can’t help it. I’m constantly picking shit up around the house. I have a very special relationship with my Shark Electric Broom. I make all kinds of rules about not eating in the den and no Play-Doh in the living room. No one in my household gives a crap and no one listens to me and I’m cool with that. I’m just the idiot Dad that walks around the house in his underwear mumbling crazy person talk under his breath. As a matter of fact I’m pretty sure my daughters mock me when I leave the room. The point is that there comes a time when a man has to stand his ground. I can trace the origin of this current situation back about three months ago. I was lying in our bed trying to fall asleep and I felt itchy for some reason. I tossed and turned a bit and then felt some hard granular type of particles beneath me. At first I thought it was sand but then I realized that we hadn’t been to the beach in about seven years. I rolled over and turned on the lamp next to my bed. I knew right then and there that it was a Code Red.

Out-Numbered - “God damn it!”

My wife woke up startled.

Wife – “What is it? What’s the matter?”

Out-Numbered – “What did you do?”

Wife – “What are you talking about? I was sleeping.”

Out-Numbered – “That’s not what I meant. Don’t play dumb.”

Wife – “Are you out of your mind? Go back to sleep.”

Out-Numbered – “There’s been a major breach in security. I’m not messing around?”

Wife – “Get to the point before I breach your face.”

Out-Numbered – “Huh?”

Wife – “WHAT DO YOU WANT?”

Out-Numbered – “Oh, right… Do you mind telling me what this is in our bed?”

Wife – “It looks like Goldfish crumbs, why?”

Out-Numbered – “Goldfish crumbs? WHY? Have you any idea what this means?”

Wife – “It means our kids were eating Goldfish in our bed dumb ass. Now go back to bed.”

Out-Numbered – “Oh boy. I’m telling you, this isn’t good. No sir…”

What my wife doesn’t understand is that kids are like wild animals. They are very territorial. When you break it down to core fundamental instincts, there isn’t a hell of a lot of differences between my two daughters and a pack of savage coyotes. If it weren’t for the smell of Aveeno baby wash on my kids I would barely be able to tell them apart from the dogs. It’s amazing how much whining can sound like howling when it hits a certain pitch. Instead of pissing on my bed to mark their territory, they leave Goldfish crumbs. You think it sounds crazy? Not really. Once you let them in, you’re fucked. When I found those Goldfish crumbs I knew it was already too late. My poor wife never saw it coming.

Three months later, my kids are still leaving their droppings all over my bed. Goldfish crumbs, Oreos, cheese crackers, you name it. It’s like a freakin picnic in there. When Bon Jovi wrote the lyrics to the song, “Bed of Roses” I’m pretty sure his first draft was:

I wanna lay you down in a bed of Oreos
For tonight I’ll sleep on a bed of Goldfish crackers
I wanna be just as close as your Holy Ghost is
And lay you down in a bed of Oreos.

But the record label told him that shit wouldn’t fly on radio so he changed it.

About two weeks ago my youngest daughter started to insist that in lieu of napping in her crib she would rather nap in our bed. First sign of the apocalypse.

Wouldn’t you know it, about a week ago my oldest daughter started coming into our bed in the middle of the night? She says she’s been having bad dreams and she doesn’t want to sleep alone. Total Armageddon.

Cue the Aerosmith. I bet Bruce Willis was never this Out-Numbered…