1st B-Day: 1st Rong of Passage

The cake is duckily quackalicious, so you know it`s official.
The cake is duckily quackalicious, so you know it`s official.

Knowing right from wrong is all but impossible at my age and turning from zero to one is clearly no rite of passage. The changes that come with such an age aren’t so great, and this seems less a rite and far more a rong of passage to me.

My culture doesn’t have a bar mitzvah, hazing confirmation, or any other sort of juvenile abuse system to define my transition to a greater age or status. Instead I’m forced to find my own developmental landmarks, and this is just such a milestone I’ve been forced to invent.

Landmark changes include (and against my will, I might add):

  • Master suite eviction. Though it’s still in process, I’m being forced out of the parental master suite down to the steerage accommodations of the brethral dormitory.
  • Formula from disaster. Getting off the metaphorical “real thing” was rough, but formula made it doable and kept me fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, aka the finest of breakfast cereals — or at least the claims of their commercials. Now the formula is gone and all I get is moo-some milky milk of cow. It’s a little wierd when you weigh it all around.
  • Shoeing my superfly hooves. I thought the dorm sleeping was going to be my boot camp, but now my feet have clompers on ‘em and my emotions are mixed. I can barely take odd steps on my own, but adding hefty hoofers makes it that much more impossible. Can’t I at least ruin a few pairs of socks before moving me on to shoes? I’m forced into sneakers just for standing up on (and by) myself… that, and of course, because I’m now one. Did I mention I’m one already?
  • Slower response time to midnight cry-fests. Mom and dad have to commute room to room just to check out my inter-nightly-nap needs. They’re much slower than my screams delivery to them and the proximity thing becomes ascendedly worse.
  • More shots, pokes, jabs and less-than-speedy in-skin inoculations are no picnic, and just because I’m one now, our otherwise kindly doctor lady demands I have more. Can diseases really be worse than poking? I guess so. They’re both bad, but only the shots come with stickers and a sucker.

So instead of having to climb a tall tower, marry, or suffer tattoos head to forcibly enbootied foot I have to use the abstract passage of a random Tuesday on the fourth month of a Roman calendar to denote my growth. Sounds odd and perhaps it is. Hey man, at least I got a fine party, which I’ll cover a bit more tomorrow. Stay tuned.

AFTERTHOUGHT:  I actually turned one just over a month ago, it’s just that it’s been such a huge event devoid of any huge changes that it’s taken me 7% of my life to complete this article.

ABOVE - No first birthday could ever be considered complete without the gratuitous baby-in-the-cake picture, and so it is.
No first birthday could ever be considered complete without the gratuitous baby-in-the-cake picture, and so it is.

Like I Have a 5th Sense

I can taste and feel, you hearing me? And now, you see, it’s as if I can even smell things too. Count ‘em up, that’s fully five senses. Almost creepy, isn’t it? story585

Forget crop circular alien abductions of sasquatch ghosts. Though surveys have shown my claim is 100% implausible,* I assure you this peculiar fifth sense is very real and moderately acute, all in one comprehensive, albeit admittedly snifferous package.

So here’s how my alleged sense works:

  • I hear a noise like dad-keys or kitchenworks and I go check it out.
  • I see what made the noise when I arrive on the scene.
  • I grabby-touch whatever it is that was noisy and sightly enough to draw my interest.
  • For good measure, I still put it in my mouth and give it a good basting about my tongue. It’s an old habit, but you know how hard those are to break.
  • But what if the answer isn’t there? What’s left? I’ll tell you what, I crack out this mystical fifth sense and I smell the wet, handy noun.

Sounds too crazy to be true? Maybe it is!

And smell isn’t just a binary outcome either, there are literally couples of shades of great… and gross too. There’s yum, neutral, yuck and even ammonia. Try as you can to imagine it, but I assure you this is an outrageously helpful spectrum.

Bats and dolphins got sonar, birds sense magnetism, and me and drug dogs got the sniffer snorting in glorious action.

Layfolk are asked not to attempt the exploration of this sense at home, as I’ve found most people’s houses smell funny. Besides, I’ve been working daily to hone my sense of stench for a very long time, and always under careful adult supervision.

As old man Ripley begs to ask by Dean Cain proxy, “believe it or not?”

* Sample group included both Dominic, who refused to answer, and Patrick, who just laughed at me. Neither would say my so-called “sense of smell” was real nor valid.

ABOVE - This here is the before and after picture. At left you'll see I have no pink smiley sticker denoting which apperture does the sniffing. At right, however, it's clearly labeled with a Mr. Yum sticker. Ms. Yum? Not sure, but you get the idea.
ABOVE – This here is the before and after picture. At left you’ll see I have no pink smiley sticker denoting which apperture does the sniffing. At right, however, it’s clearly labeled with a Mr. Yum sticker. Ms. Yum? Not sure, but you get the idea.

ATM Denies Monopoly Withdrawl

Technology inches incrementally along day by day. Technology costs money. And nowhere is the latest technology more present than in the banking sector. They’ve got all the money in the world, right? So with such a monopoly locked up, why can’t they meet my monopoly needs? story613

I can’t yet comprehend the value of a dollar, but I do love playing with spare change and Monopoly money alike. These are two things our banks ATMs don’t accomodate or even address.

I know when it comes to “real money” I ain’t got a lot. That’s why I skip the green for the far prettier monacled-man dollars and the fists full of coin easily found lying about. Why can’t the cash machines see things my way?

The customer’s supposed to always be right, right? If the problem is that monopoly transactions don’t pay well, charge me a hundred Monopoly dollars, I don’t even care. My own brothers approve and I’m sure the Parker brothers ain’t far behind.

Coinage equals swallowsome gumballs and coin-op stickers like crazy, but the real money-stuff is the (much lighter) paper kind. All I know of paper-moula is the morbid dead-President kind and the pretty, mono-clad Monopoly kind. Why can’t banks cater to more of that latter, prettier variety?

Smart money says invest in banks. It’s a safe-ish bet since they’re categorically made of money; but look a childish step further: Do they cater to, address or rebuke the kind of money you put all your faith in?

If I could take my fortune in my own diversified denominations, I’d take a pair of Catholics, a handful of Jews, and the balance in Presbyterians… but my understanding is obviously limited to what Webster tells me (and I mean Mirriam not Emanuel Lewis).

Spend your greenbacks willy as you will, nilly Nelly. I’m sticking to heaviest coinage and most attractive monocle-baldy rainbowbacks. And that is something you can take to the bank.


When in Doubt Grab for Daddy

In case you’ve lived under a rock or are still in utero I’ll just tell you: life in general can be scary. Should doubt it, now’s the time to stop your wondering otherwise and feeling unduly insecure. Just do what I’ve done so happily and go for Daddy-O. Dude’s good as a protector.

That`s me in the grabbing action.
That`s me in the grabbing action.

Call me kooky of kiddiescent sorts, but as an aspiring toddler I’m told it’s understandable that my first word was “da-da.” That very utterance has drawn dad to my causes nearly every time with very little fail, but in these few ailing instances where it falls even shorter than me, I augment my plea with a pair of outstretched arms. Presto-magico, the world’s my oyster at my own dad’s behestary.

This particular snappy picture here is already bordering on outdated but that sinseriously ain’t the point. My intention is as true today as it was the thousandth of a second it was captured. Whether it’s emotions from within life or from without (reason) that gets to be too much, just be like me; don’t make a scrunch face, just go for daddy.

It’s a fantasmagoric fallback, that Daddy-O of mine. Mama does what she can and us brothers run her down to nothing short of ragged. Stuck in a playpen with Daddy-O in sight? Snivel ye not, but call out and make grabs for him, the Daddy-O is sure to acknowledge and comply.

The above picture is from way, way, way back in time. It’s from my birthday party when I got all official with my one turning (which I know we haven’t run the stories about just yet, but they’re coming, I promise!)

There was so much cake, games, pizza and all those presents did little to uberwhelm me, but two ladies named gramma, an aunt from each conflicting parent and an odd slew of other relatives completely did the trick.

I’d had more than too much but I still had my (very) old standby mechanism of most copiously capable copeability. I still had daddy in reach and that did my own sort of trick, even without smoke and mirrors.

I won’t tell you to swallow your pride as since I’m only mostly a gummer myself and thereby in no position to boast of such masticate swallowry beyond the fraction of a Dorito. Instead you should put your pride on a high shelf like brother Brendan does to himself in his rebellious climbing and like the parent-folk do with their precious kitsch. Also like they do with canned goods.

I will suggest you quell your pride, quash your abandon and embrace, nay, beg your own sort of Daddy-O to hold you, hug you, give you hope, comfort and any and all protection you may need. Your survival instinct may seem strong but it’s no match for his instinct to preserve you himself. Embrace, rejoice and be glad in that comfort.

I know I’m grateful for it, but I’m biased.


Study Finds Lawns Unmowable, Unruly

You know lawns as sure as my courtyard’s got one, but the super tricky trick to it all is mastering the mow of my greenest clippery. I went out with my finest, favoritest mower to give it a whack but didn’t even fall short at it. Heck, I couldn’t even take me the first step. story636

You know mowers of lawn, methinks that much is right. You push them, they make noise, and if your Honda is anything like my Teletubbie-Fisher Price, it spouts out soapy bubbles to tell you it’s doing the job. Our lawn weren’t long nor shaggy and noyther were my efforts to trim them back down, (un)surprisingly. Something was amiss and I wasn’t about to blow my whole day on it.

In our house we love snacky crackers and Monster Garage, but mad outlaw Jesse James is always on about how the low rider is a solid sort of stylish and practical transit. My lawnmower is hardly a monster and it don’t bear any sort of loud, trademark exhaust, but it does ride low to the ground and that’s been my big problem.

Even though I’d swear our wicked landmistress trimmed our greens just yesterday my ability to putt is critically hampered by my push-mowey carriage’s inability to rise above these moisiestly hampered blades. Chlorophyll is heavy in the air yet my chassis has bottomed out and my would be mow attempts are near about useless.

Quite obviously I look as super cool as anybody might expect or hope me to be, but despite the heaviness of grassy stench on stagnant air or apparent shortness of grass, my wickedly hapfashioned mower of mocking mowerescence failed to click, nary a tubby of Tele turned so much as a single suddsy bubble, and worst of all, the grass remained as unmowed as ever. To put the cherry on the sundae I was just stuck hanging around looking silly… what gives?

My study found the lawn’s too long even still, no matter however meticulously groomed it may be. It’s like I’d need more internal combustion and less externally bubbling squirties. I’m no technologist, but however real that profession may seem to be, it’s still a pretty fake career all round. Still, I’m not one such faker on the workplace and my lawnmower wasn’t about to garner me even the first clipping despite my outlandish labors.

No less I had a fine time strolling on finest greens of grass, so all in all it was a fine experience nonetheless. I dug it, so I twisted and shouted.*

* BRENDAN’S NOTES: Yeah, he twisted and shouted, but he’s only just turning one, so he only twisted and shouted like I did last summer.



Super Sick of Snotty Head Cold

I’d swear I’m not terminally ill and my pediatrician says she concurs, but this past month of nasal faucetry suggests otherwise and I ain’t finding it funny a fig. Why my shnauz gotty slop so stickily disgusting?

Smile aside I gots me a visible sniffle.
Smile aside I gots me a visible sniffle.

Bro-Patrick brought a wicked sniffle home from kindergarten last month, so naturally it made its rounds from one to the next to the all of us. I got it myself, but as one not to let a grudge go, I likewise refused to abandon my cold, as much as I’d’ve liked to.

I haven’t coughed or sneezed in weeks, so why am I still dripping nosiest mucus into my awaiting slurpy mouth? I know it’s gross and I ain’t proud, I’m just trying to figure a solution to this sloppy madness. Am I allergic to my brothers or intolerant of the obvious parental irritants about me? You tell me, but first lend my your hankey.

snotty2LEFT – I apologize for putting us so close in one anothers grill this way, but I had to show off my shine.

I dine a rounded feast complete with meats and carbs. I chomp my daily Flintstones for tastiest health. I reject sleep but always get plenty. So why am I still sniffling? Why’s my homemade, viscous glue still chasing after my chin?

I’m on the verge of another sneeze and that very event could soak me waist up with the nastiest, potentially infectious disgustitude. What’s this all about?

While pharmaceutical scientists remain as soft at work on this problem as ever, I’ll keep snorting the yuckies back up into my head. After all, wondering and waiting for a cure is all I can do.

Oh, and if you’re a brother (specifically, one of mine) consider covering your cough already; I’m sick of (and from) hosting your virus.



Kindergarten Recital Sucks ‘Only Mostly’

Here at the old Perplexing office we took ourselves a break, posse’d up as scheduled and headed on over to the brethral, kindergartenous dance recital de la frère Patrick. I have to say it wasn’t half bad, but by the same token with compounded interest it surely wasn’t half good.

That`s him by the arrow... glorious, no? I`ll help you out, no.
That`s him by the arrow… glorious, no? I`ll help you out, no.

Apparently when this brother Patrick of mine goes to school, he isn’t learning so much about the astro-physics as he is the chicken dance. I just assumed he was there to learn the secrets to making the world a better place, and inasmuch as the world is better off with autistic kids flailing about madly as if possessed by poultry, he surely is.

I don’t get to dance,* why does he?

I went, I witnessed, I was too strapped in to conquer, but still I’d have to say that it was terrible. It was like a bunch of children dancing around or something. I tell you, if it was me in a dance class it would suck less** and succeed far, far more.*** If it was me in a dance class, whether in school or elsewhere, I would take it very, very seriously.****

It was a big to-do, but all him and his k’jillion other schoolmates did was wiggly, clap on cue, wave to camcording parents ill-focused on them and laugh at more overpriced cameras than one might find at a Parisian fashion show, the company of Ms. Hilton thankfully excluded.

And all the while, as ready, willing and able as I was to throw my two-cents, two-bits and two-bit two-step into the mix, I was inexplicably buckled in. I had the best seat in the house since we got there early, but some egomaniacal parents rejuggled chairs to block all but the narrowest view. Good thing Miss Mama-lady was handy instead of el Sr. Daddy-O, or he’d have had them relocated due to his over-developed sense of justice. Daddy-O says, “You’re late, don’t be a jerk, wiggle it on to the back, slacker.” Too bad, he was off taking his own most glamorous shots of the brother man.

And with that the most horrific and inhumane display of ill child utilization was underway and just as soon completed. It was like a freight train derailment but with more bodies left in shock. It was like a cacophony of movement but without the Sting-style synchronicity. It was even like a royal wedding, but in lieu of a princess there was an ugly mistress to an ugly prince… well, that last one actually happened, but that’s not the point.

My advice to talent scouts is plain, avoid the Kindergarten talent show like the plague as black as it is. My advice to parents is more subtle and just that much more deniable, do yourself and your kinder-folk a favor and forget the tape. Camcorder the event as you will, but actually recording it will not be a favor to either of you in the long term.

* Actually, even a cursory overview of our archives will show you that I did indeed get to dance, even though I forsake it as much as the experience of it in retrospect, both with no memory of the actual event.
** Though allegedly I’ve been in a dance class, and all accounts say it sucked more.
*** My own dance class, at least according to independent audit, did not succeed. Not far more, not by any stretch of wiggliest, most Gumbiesque imagination.
**** Though yet additional editorial review shows I was much too preoccupied with the staircase to take the class seriously, but that’s hardly my fault, it was such a gorgeously attractive nuissance.

ABOVE - Here you can see yet another orange arrow denoting the location of my blurriest brother Patrick. It's not that we dislike him nor that we know not how to use the gain or shutter, it's that you just can't imagine how far away he is, nor how blocked he is by that kid's head in front of him... ah life.
ABOVE – Here you can see yet another orange arrow denoting the location of my blurriest brother Patrick. It’s not that we dislike him nor that we know not how to use the gain or shutter, it’s that you just can’t imagine how far away he is, nor how blocked he is by that kid’s head in front of him… ah life.