Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Rocky Road Reprieve...

Last week was a tough week. It started with me having some minor surgery.

Skin Cancer.

My shoulder looked like a pizza. 30 stitches and it just missed my Chargers Lightening Bolt tattoo. Thank Goodness.

Kids, use your sunscreen. I'm not fucking around either.

I had to miss a couple of days of work and take it easy.


I rarely associate the word easy with being a parent.

As scary and uncomfortable as the surgery was, the thought that kept running through my head was...

"Man, this is nice. It's air conditioned, it's quiet, people are listening to me and there are no kids around."

There was even a U2 mix tape playing. I love U2.

It's truly a sad state of affairs when you view a trip to the surgeon as a small getaway. I mean, they took a chunk of flesh out of my shoulder and left me looking like the *Jewish Frankenstein but I felt like I was at an outpatient Sandals.


I was pretty out of it that night and still in a bunch of pain. All I wanted to do was hit my bed. My oldest daughter knew I was having something done but she didn't know about the cancer part. I was half expecting some sympathy or at least some understanding when she got home from school. I was gonna milk it for all it was worth. I had surgery God dammit and I wanted people to do stuff for me. I wanted my kids to rub my feet. I wanted them to let me watch Giada in peace. I wanted to poop without interruption.

Instead, my daughter came home and asked me to play handball with her. Yo! I'm laying on the couch, shirtless, wrapped in gauze and turning a whiter shade of pale. What the fuck? And also, what 7 year old girl wants to play handball? What is this, Brooklyn circa 1958? Why don't you go to your room and listen to some Sha Na Na on your damn Ipod.

"No baby. I can't play handball with you. Daddy isn't allowed to move his arm around right now."

"You're so mean!"

Great. Good to know I can't even play the cancer card on my daughter. Tough love I suppose...

The next day, I still had to take my kids to school in the morning. My wife was kind enough to get the little one dressed and the older one out of bed. My plan was to wrangle them into the car and take it slow.

I got my older one to school with no problem, despite her still harboring an intense resentment toward me for passing on handball.

When I arrived at my daughter's Pre-School, I was able to trick her into climbing out of the car on her own. I promised her she could walk on the curb in the parking lot. She thinks it's a balance beam. This is usually no problem but today, because I was a lame ass weakling, she was carrying her knapsack on her back and it was pretty heavy. She didn't get two steps before...


Face plant right into the cement.

I knew she was gonna come up bloody. She's too little to know about the whole. put your hands down when you're falling thing.

I just scooped her up without thinking and ran her into the school, calling for ice and towels like a crazed lunatic.

Blood. Lots of blood. I don't do well with blood.

I checked her teeth.

Still there.

That's good.

Ow, my fucking shoulder. Not good.

I sat with her for an hour on the floor of the school, holding multiple ice pops on her mangled, fat lip. I could feel her little heart racing and her body shaking. I was shaking too. Her little friends circled around us like cockroaches and asked 10,000 questions. This was mind numbingly annoying but really sweet. It kept her mind off of her fat lip and for that, I was grateful.

I walked out of there exhausted and it was only 9am.

Not taking it easy.

The next night, I thought it would be great if we all went out for an early dinner as a family. There's a pretty good BBQ place in the neighborhood and for some reason it seemed like a good idea.

It always seems like a good idea at first.

It only took about 8 minutes to turn into a total disaster.

Aside from my Pork Chop tasting like an ass, filled with sand, my kids were driving me up the wall. The whining and the complaining and the fighting and the fidgeting. We are that family of idiots.

So I pick up my 3 year old.


Ow, my fucking shoulder. Not good.

And I whisk her outside for the remainder of the meal.

I'd had enough. I was supposed to be taking care of myself and I hadn't stopped for a minute. This isn't what the Doctor ordered at all. We all piled into the car and headed home. On the way, I turned to my wife and said...

Me - "I want Carvel."

Wife - "You want to bring the kids for ice cream?"

Me - "No. I want to bring me for ice cream."

Wife - "Now?"

Me - "Yes."

Wife - "OK then."

So we made a pit stop at the local Carvel.

Man, this has got to be the only place in the universe that never changes. You'd think that maybe Cookie Puss would have evolved a bit. Nope. It's all the same and it makes me happy. I got out of the car, by myself and purchased the biggest motherfucking ice cream cone I could get.

We drove home and my family got out of the car.

I stayed behind.


In the car.

Eating ice cream.

While my kids played handball in the driveway...

*Even though Frankenstein sounds like a Jewish name, I'm pretty sure it's not. I believe he was Episcopalian.