Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Bells & Duck Calls

My dad will be retiring from the Navy in four days, so I can completely understand that he needs to go into work; we were jet-lagged from hell anyway and could really use the extra sleep. Unfortunately, 'we' turned out to be Angie and me; the boys had somehow recovered after 4 hours of sleep and were ready to party. And Pop-Pop likes to boogie...

The party began at 5:45. Sorry - 0545 in the Foxtrot Alpha Mike for you military types. I raced downstairs to see who the hell was ringing something that sounded like a ship's bell and why. In doing so, I made two discoveries. And all this before the crack of dawn.

First, and least interesting to my ears - Peter is apparently a natural born bell ringer. I didn't know this because I am a sane parent that doesn't allow satanic noise-makers in the house. Knowing that parents are supposed to encourage their kids, though, I immediately started thinking about locking Quasimodo in a church tower so that he could further develop this newfound skill. Thanks, Padre.

The second discovery was that my dad is a complete ass. If I look back on my childhood, there were so many opportunities for me to come to this earth-shattering realization sooner, but it was not until I caught him sneaking out the door, giggling like a schoolboy.

'Have fun.'

As my brain tried digesting this latest discovery, I heard something from the living room that sounded like a duck call.

'Davey, what the hell do you think you're doing?'

'Pop-pop showed me. Listen, I'm a duck!'

A rhyming game popped into my head, but before I could vocalize my jingle, sleeping beauty walked in, asking why the world was so loud. I explained to Angie the concept of Karma and my recent revelation that my father is an ass.

'Oh, thanks for the news flash! I kinda knew that you got it from someone and hello - your Mom is too nice.'

'Shut up, woman - I'm nice!'

Luckily, the combination of bell ringing and duck calls made it completely impossible for me to understand Angie's next babble. I'm practiced in ignoring women, though. Instead, I suggested that we head to the river out back and look for real ducks.

'Oh, Davey, look - A TURTLE! How cool is that?'

'I don't see it.'

This went on for about an hour until David was close to tears. I suggested to Mama Nature that maybe she should stop irritating our sleep-deprived kids. Apparently, Frumpy could have used some more nappy time as well.

For the rest of the afternoon, we decided to go terrorize my Mom. It started with a nice childish interrogation.

'Hi, Oma. When are Patrick and Stephanie coming?'

'Well, Aunt Christine called and the traffic is really...'

'Are they here yet?'

'No, I just tried to explain that they are stuck...'

'Are they here yet?'

Eventually the boys got tired of testing my mom's patience and decided to go for her nerves instead.

'Look, Oma - no hands!'

'Uh, I normally don't let kids climb the tree. Can you come down now?'

'You want me to climb higher? Sure, no problem.'

'No, that's not what I...'

'Are they here yet?'

So, yeah - Chris and George were stuck in a mega traffic jam that meant we would have to wait another day for the Great Cousin Reunion. My ears weren't exactly devastated.

On the way back to my dad's, we stopped by the store to get cereal for what will hopefully be a quieter breakfast tomorrow morning. David was, well...hmmm, how do I put this...impressed...yeah, that's it - impressed with how many more types of cereal they have in America. Yeah, impressed.

Shortly after this lovely snapshot, David grabbed three boxes of cereal and took off running screaming 'you'll never catch me!'. I had the keys to the car, though, so I wasn't worried.

We caught up with the Cookie Crook on aisle 7. He was sitting on the floor with his stash - four Hershey's chocolate bars and a bag of powdered sugar. I asked him where the cereal was and he just laughed at me. Whatever.

When we got home, I realized that energy levels were high. I repeat - energy levels were high. I didn't earn the self-proclaimed nickname 'wise-ass Papa' for no reason. I immediately commanded the gooftards to go jump in the pool. Peter was the first one ready.

It's amazing how tired children get after swallowing a gallon of chlorine. If I were a business man, I'd sell sugarless chlorine gum to desperate parents. There's plenty of them out there.

As I was trying to get Tommy to drink his third glass of 'Papa's sleepy water', my dad came home and whisked the boys off to WAR. Gee, thanks, Dad!

My dad will be retiring from the Navy in four days, so I can completely understand that he needs to get his war-face on every chance he gets. I didn't understand why he had to jump up and ring the bell like a mad man every time he won a hand, but at least the kids loved it. I can't wait to be a granddad.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: The pool.
David: The pool.
Tom: The pool.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I go under the water.
David: That I not see the turtle in the river.
Tom: That my popo hurts.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To see Patrick and Stephanie.
David: To see the turtle.
Tom: I want to eat cereal.

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