Sunday, June 27, 2010


After a hard night of river camping with the animals, I had actually hoped for a quiet and peaceful morning where Angie would cook me a chicken-pot coffee and let me eat breakfast in bed. I do realize that along with hope, words like 'quiet' and 'peaceful' waved bye-bye around six years, two months and twenty-seven days ago. Not that I'm keeping track.

Sami woke me from my fantasy snooze and decided to teach my boys how to be 'more than meets the eye'. Like most of his 'lessons' my 'robots in disguise' learned more about adrenaline and noise levels than anything that was included in the original course description. I can't wait until Lauri is old enough for me to start up my own 'tutoring' service.

After Chorizo trained wild animals how to be wilder, I thought it would be nice if we included some of the finer arts in the program. We started out with some piano lessons.

Everything went great until Tom realized that Lauri was banging on HIS piano. At that point, Tom pulled a move that was a little unfair, considering that Lauri does not have older brothers that routinely steal HIS stuff. Tom knows this routine all too well and has recently learned how best to retain HIS belongings. It's a move I like to call 'scream like a little girl, flail your arms like a drowning monkey, and bite like Tyson'. Luckily, we have not yet allowed Tommy to watch a boxing match; even so, getting beaten on the head by a screaming monkey girl was enough to completely kill Lauri's interest in music. Thanks, Maestro.

To try and calm things down, I called in the Peace Gourds.

This worked for approximately 30 seconds. After that, it was more like Smashing Pumpkins and we had to evacuate the building. You might think it was related to the safety of my children, but it had more to do with Angie's completely warranted fear of cleaning up the messy aftermath.

We hit the streets, but like most of us, we were not really sure where we were going.

Even without a destination, Peter inner compass gave us a heads up that we were going in the right direction.

Yes, Peter recently learned to head butt soccer balls and has been forcing people to chuck balls at his noggin non-stop. I was more than happy to oblige, but protecto-Mom kept jumping in and making comments like 'not so hard' and 'underhand, not overhand' and 'his nose is bleeding - stop laughing'. Whatever.

To make up for pinging my boy's frontal surface so hard that he's now earned the nickname 'Unicorn', I decided to treat the boys to an ice-cream.

At the ice-cream shop, we ran into Lucy and Ben. Ben didn't have a red welt on his forehead, so I'm pretty sure I was the only one at the ice-cream shop buying a frozen apology. The four of them melted sticky laughter as they devoured their cones, so I thought I was forgiven until I glanced over at Angie. Trust me, her look was 'more than meets the eye'.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: Was that Germany won.
David: As I played with Peter kindergarten.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I played with David not more.
David: That I not more play with Tommy.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Play soccer.
David: Play with mommy koony-koony-ku.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Pack it up, pack it in

Pack it up, pack it in,

Let me begin,

I came to win,

Battle me that's a sin

--House of Pain

On the way to what was sure to be another fun-packed family camping adventure with David's kindergarten class, Angie dared to challenge me to a tent-building contest. Please, woman.

I honestly couldn't believe that Angie was coming on the trip in the first place. Last year, she bailed with the whole 'Tom's a baby' excuse that only too conveniently fit with her hatred of nature and large gatherings of screaming kids. I had honestly assumed and planned on her not coming until the night before when she was gabbing away on the phone.

'Oh, damn, I'm so sorry - I'd really love to go to your cousin's neighbor's daughter's baptism rehearsal, but I'm going camping...'

Despite adamantly denying it, I still think Ms. Outdoors 'changed her mind' at the last minute. Whatever.

So anyway, I was enjoying a surprisingly quiet and pleasant ride until Angie started rambling on about how easy it is to set up a tent and how maybe even I could do it. That's it, lady - it's go time!

As we pulled up to the campground, there were plenty of parents who weren't two hours late who came up to gloat at us. They grinned and pointed at their deluxe super-duper-sleepers and explained how they had already pitched their tents, collected firewood, set traps and whatever the hell else over-zealous campers that show up on time do.

We promptly ignored them and raced for the colossal mess that we had crammed in our trunk. Angie beat me there and claimed stake to what I would later refer to as 'the easy tent'. I got there just as Angie was skipping away and was forced to take what I would later refer to as 'the WWII hut that requires an engineering degree and a blow torch'.

Normally I do not let David climb up on top of any car, moving or not. Angie had already unrolled her 'push-button' tent, though. I was torn between the safety of my children and kicking Angie's ass. In the end, I just pretended that David was wearing a helmet made of bubble-wrap and convinced myself that the pavement was not that hard.

In case I forgot to mention it - it was freakin' hot, and not in the 'Roseanne Barr naked' kinda way. For some reason, Angie was not breaking a sweat. I've read a few books, though, and realize that it's probably because she's from Venus. Apparently Venusians can't cook to save their lives, but they are fairly proficient when it comes to selecting the 'easy' tent from a pile of tents borrowed from said alien's father.

I don't know what was more humiliating - that I was beaten in a simple tent-building contest by a freakin' extraterrestrial that can't even cook, or that the creature's offspring just stared at me in pathetic disgust as it's Mama hammered in the victory pin.

For not being able to cook, this Alien could certainly chow down. She didn't even mind that I was somewhere in the background, cursing and tripping over cryptic tent pieces as I tried to decipher non-existent instructions and reconstruct pieces that had decayed years ago.

After finally getting my Quonset hut assembled, I stumbled my way over to the well-fed for some bread and water. Tommy stopped me on the way and demanded my head for his creative foot stool.

I noticed a potentially disturbing trend forming with Sitting Tom and decided to kick his lazy ass out of the chair for a bit of exercise. He chose instead to sit on a blanket and play poker with La Principessa.

I understand and can accept responsibility for the poker part, but where does this kid get his 'lounging around' bit? Hmmm...

In a totally unrelated segway, Angie was busy preparing a string of candy for a game of 'gummy bear dipping'.

I wasn't really sure if Tommy's dallying had warranted a treat, but I called for him anyway.

'What? I can't hear you and there's no way I'm walking over there. Come closer!'

'I said - you better get off your ass if you want to chow down on some yummy gummy candy'

Okay, not exactly what I meant, but at least he understands me. He also comprehended the growing crowd of children surrounding Mama's string of goodies and mosied on over for a snack.

The whole 'walking over' and 'chewing candy' must have really tuckered out poor Tommy. He plopped his lazy boy down and watched as Mama took her turn.

I don't know what it is about this picture, but it somehow reminds me of the scene in Pinocchio when the bad boy shooting pool suddenly turns into a donkey. You might think that obscure jackass comparisons might irritate the crap out of my wife. As it turns out, it just meant that happiness came an hour earlier. Hee-haw!

Bed time inconveniently coincided with the USA-Ghana World Cup match, so I conveniently left the camp site in search of more beer and a satellite TV. Yes, in that order.

I thought that Angie would be happy that neither of my searches were in vain, but let's just say that happy hour was over by the time I made it back to the camp site. The cool thing about tents - no sofas.

The morning after the night before was rather interesting for the boys. Peter and David are old enough to retain memories for more than 24 hours, but Tommy woke up completely baffled.

In computer chat talk, it would probably be something like WTF R WE? I know, I'm so hip it hurts sometimes. I understand and can accept responsiblity for the whole 'waking up and not knowing where you are' part, but instead of inquiring about his whereabouts, Tommy frantically searched the camp grounds until he found his coveted chair. Hmmm...
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When we were by the camping.
David: When I play with the fire.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I in trouble over the flashlight.
David: When I throw in the fire and you say that I no can do that.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play soccer and do the treasure hunt.
David: To go home again.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Angie's a sucker for goofy looking men

Eisi stopped by for a surprise visit in the evening and let me just say that he's not one to disappoint. Despite what it looks like, Eisi had not smeared cucumber juice on his face. Not a bad idea, actually. There was a whole nother reason why Angie's lips were superglued to Eisi's cheek, but more on his hidden agenda later.

After school, the boys got in trouble with the law. Peter was locked up and before anyone could realize what had happened, someone had thrown away the key.

Well, sorry, Peter - that sucks. I tried to look on the bright side of not spending as much money on groceries, but he's always been a finicky eater, so I don't think that being locked up would really save us that much on the eatin' bills. I hope you won't be asking for bail money, son.

As I entertained images of Peter sipping water and demanding that his captors cut the crust off of his bread, David was whispering something that must have been hilarious into Tommy's ear.

'Pssst...Tommy...come closer...'

'Ya, Dadid...ya?'

'I have the key...I threw it away...'

I'm pretty sure that Tommy had no idea why David was cracking up like a nutcase on the sunny side of the loony bin, but it didn't matter at all. David has recently become Tommy's NUMBER ONE IDOL. If David laughs, Tommy thinks it's hysterical. If David throws sand on some innocent kid's head at the playground, Tommy gets the general idea and follows up by whacking the poor girl with a plastic shovel. I only wish that this example was made up.

At one point, Tommy strayed away from Big Brother to hang out with Lisi, another one of his idols. She has red hair and David's favorite color is red, so I'm not completely ruling out that there might be some connection.

Tommy was having an awesome time in the back saddle until something blocked out the sun.

It didn't resemble a bird and it certainly wasn't a plane, but it did look more powerful than a locomotive. Hey, wait a minute, I know - it's The Godfather.

Okay, I have to admit that my father forced us to watch The Godfather (all three) and Superman (all four, plus Supergirl) over and over and over and over and over again until I sometimes get them mixed up.

After parting ways with Godfather III (Tom's), we had our unexpected visit from the Godfather I (Peter's). Eisi called when he was about an hour out, which gave Angie approximately 55 minutes to freak out and frantically clean the place, and still allow 5 minutes to cool down so she didn't look like she was sweating her ass off. I chuckled as she freaked out, except the times when she got in front of me watching Spain spank Chile in the World Cup. Eisi showed up five minutes before the game ended.

'Hi Steve.'

'Uh-huh. You, too.'

'How's it going?'

'Yeah, wow, man. That sounds interesting.'

'Okay, I guess I'll wait until the game's over to tell you that I'm gonna be a daddy.'

'Mm hmm, sure... the beers are in the fridge...'

It wasn't until someone slapped my head that I realized that Angie was crying. Eisi was grinning like the village papa, so I finally pieced together what I had missed in the non-existent instant replay. It also helped that Angie was already on the phone congratulating Martha and offering baby names, which I thought was pointless; it's so obviously going to be Steve or Stephanie.

I gave Eisi equal points for stupidity and bravery. He has been exposed to our animals long enough to know the effects it can have on their owners, yet he voluntarily chose to self-paternalize. I really didn't know whether to punch him or give him a hug and suck on his face. Lucky for me, Angie had ruled out one of the choices.
Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When Eisi talk with me on the phone.
David: When I played with Tommy goo-goo goo-goo, 'cause he so funny and I laugh.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I go to bed and Eisi is not here yet.
David: When I not more can play with Peter honk-honk ka-chonk.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To play soccer with Eisi.
David: I want to play Mommy with Mommy.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Saws and jackhammers

Six o'clock came way too early for me, so I kicked Angie out of bed and told her to cook me a pot of coffee while she watched the kids. Regrets and I are not strangers; we have a long and complicated history and this morning was yet another example of why I should never expect Angie to listen to anything I tell her.

I woke up three hours later and first of all, there was no coffee. I didn't understand this at all - my instructions were clear and I thought that I had given her more than enough time to brew a pot of the brown glorious. More irritating, though, was witnessing the aftermath of Angie's version of 'watching the kids'.

As I grumbled my way into the living room, my ears were assaulted by what sounded like a romantic prelude between a saw and a jackhammer. Before I could identify the source, my eyes were assaulted by dark brown streaks all over the floor, the wall, and the sofa. I followed the bizarre artistic trail and found an odd-looking bearded kid that slightly resembled Tommy. As I came to the very thankful realization that it was chocolate, I stumbled across Angie, racked out big time on the sofa. Ah, that explains everything.

I sighed, grabbed a sponge and inadvertently gained a twisted appreciation of how difficult it must be for murderers to wipe the crime scene clean.

I informed Sleeping Beauty that I still wanted my coffee and reminded her that I now know how to 'sanitize' the place if she failed to deliver. As she struggled with how to boil water, I took Tommy out for his first solo-ride.

Germans are not especially known for their humor, but when it comes to teaching kids how to ride a bike, the concept of training wheels is somehow funny. When a kid turns one, they typically get a 'Laufrad', which translates into 'walking bike'. There are no pedals, so they simply walk along. In theory.

My back would have greatly appreciated training wheels after ten minutes, but after fifteen - Tommy nailed it. I know it was basically assisted walking, but I was still mega impressed. The cool thing is that they learn balance right from the start, so when it comes time for the bike with pedals, they don't fall over as much. In theory.

After our brief and not-so-humorous training lesson, we got in the car to go visit Handan and Deniz and their newly formed family of four.

I guess it only takes fifteen minutes of biking to tucker out Tommy. David immediately sported his patented mischievous look. He's less than half German, so I found it less than half funny and yelled at him to not do whatever the hell it was he was grinning about. He obviously inherited his listening skills from Angie, though. Shortly after this lovely snapshot, David decided to see if Tommy could continue sleeping peacefully if he pinched his nose shut. He can't.

Thanks to David's curiosity, the last thirty minutes of the ride were wakefully unpeaceful. At least we did not get lost this time, since I refused to allow Angie to navigate. I had wisely demanded the street name and house number before leaving the garage. I then let Victoria's sexy British voice navigate us to the wrong street. Huh?

Unlike last time, Victoria was not the one to blame. I was a little torn, though, since I know from previous trips how jealous Angie can be of my navigation system. She and Vicky have a long history of mutual hatred that is only exacerbated when Angie does stupid things like punching in the wrong street. Huh?

The ladies managed to work out their difference after a quick phone call to Handan to get the correct street name. Women are vindictive by nature, so I was not exactly surprised when Vicky snickered the remaining directions to our destination. Technology 1, Angie 0.

I have a sneaking fear that Angie wants another baby. She confirms my founded suspicion every time we come within burping distance of anything cute and cuddly. I burp all the time and have often been self-described as being both cute and cuddly, but today's candidate - Emre. Whatever.

What was interesting is that Tom has apparently inherited Angie's jealousy gene. Seconds after Angie picked up Emre, Tom stormed over and started baby-screaming.


Short and not-so-sweet, but at least his point was well expressed. Men normally settle their arguments with some kind of macho sweat-event, and in the end, the tiny men decided on a knee race.

Tom only looks like he's losing. He's a bit older than Emre, though, and he has David as a mentor, so I was not really surprised when Tom elbowed his way to the finish line. David was so impressed that he came out of his super-secret camouflaged hiding spot to high-five Tommy.

One minor drawback to David's maneuver was that he held on to the plant as he raced towards Tom. The plant followed David, the pot did not. After an emergency replanting, we (Angie and Handan) decided that we (Deniz and I) should take the boys and go do whatever. As luck would have it, there was a street festival on, so the what and ever were covered. Let's go!

Luck had nothing to do with Davey's first game.

It involved tossing beer caps and gambling, so he had an advantage on the other kids that was inevitable. From what hairy-chested man does this boy learn his skills?

The second game was a bit less up his alley.

It involved repeatedly carrying a wet sponge to an empty bucket and squeezing. David's pretty good at squeezing things, but sponges are normally something that you use to clean with. Judging by the amount of dirt and filth in our apartment, I can totally understand why he was not quite skilled in the more practical applications of a sponge.

In addition to uncleanliness, David was drawn to the chance to perform operations.

Dr. David approached the carnie trick with delicate hands and determination. The operation was to successfully navigate a small circular patient from one end to the other without electrocuting him on the juiced up metal railing.

It was actually quite sad. Not only did the patient die, but it died a very loud and 'buzzy' death. Judging by the carnie's look, it wasn't his first casualty of the day. Whatever, circus freak, just stamp the boy's card and toss him some candy that'll rot his teeth!

At one point, we passed a stand where they cover up people's goofy looking mugs with face-paint and glitter.

I knew right away that resistance was futile, but the line was longer than a back-to-back episode of 'Felicity'. Deniz quickly assessed the situation and decided that he could simply go up and swipe some face paint and skip the whole 'waiting in line' thing.

The plan worked like a charm, except Deniz mistakenly chose Destructo Dave as his partner in crime. As Deniz was liberating a wax crayon, Davey 'accidentally' smashed one of their make-up mirrors to the ground. Two sweaty and rather irritated women glared at me as if to demand an answer. I casually pointed at Deniz and shrugged my shoulders. Then I grabbed my boys and we ran.

When we got back to the house, it was surprisingly quiet. It took me a second to realize why, but then I remembered that Yappity Angie had gone with Chatterbox Handan to visit her new baby boy at the hospital. Handan's, not Angie's, for you inquisitive lot.

Deniz must have missed the normal level of noise, so he initiated SpeedRacer2000, a game that involved a baby tub and a lot of imagination.

Eventually the ladies showed up again from baby sniffing little Kerim and they finally made my long-awaited coffee. I had assumed that I would need a little perk before coping with the car ride home. As it turned out, though, Deniz and I had mastered just the right mix of adrenaline, sugar and excitement to ensure a ride home that strangely reminded me of saws and jackhammers.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: When I was the driver for the race car with Deniz.
David: When I make all the games and I win some more candy.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When the boy in the jumpy bounce - he kick me in my ear.
David: When I make the paint on all of my face and then BOOM! Sorry, haha! That was funny.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: To sleep until the kindergarten is over.
David: I want to play with mommy.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bounce-time for Bonzos

bounce [ban(t)s]: To rebound after having struck an object or a surface.

After living with David for over a year and half, Tom knows all too well the meaning of the word 'bounce'. Until today, though, he only associated the word with pain followed by David's laughter.

The morning started out with a bounce. Kinda. Angie made the mistake of asking me to watch the kids while she snored her way into more beauty. First of all, she doesn't need it; she's not going to get any cuter. Besides, once the animals awaken, it is not humanly possible to fall back asleep. Holy shit! Angie's NOT HUMAN!!!

As if to test the creature in our bedroom who was trying to break the sound barrier, David started tearing through the hallway banging a wooden spoon on a metal pot. Nothing. Peter started blowing a referee whistle that I could have sworn I had hidden in the freezer just last week. Nothing. Tommy took a soccer ball and decided it wanted to get a close-up of Mama's forehead. That worked in waking it up, but I'm not sure if the reaction that followed helped to rule out the whole 'alien monster' theory that I had the boys totally believing. That's not Mama...

Luckily I know the trick to transforming the Predator into a physical appearance that slightly resembles the mother of my children. After the second pot of coffee, we started to plan the day. We agreed on three things:

1) She is lucky to be married to such a considerate and hairy-chested man-beast.
2) We needed to do something with the boys; the smell of energy in the air was frightening.
3) Tomorrow would be my turn to sleep in since I did such an awesome job this morning.

Okay, Angie and I very rarely agree on anything, so 1 out of 3 was not bad. Angie wasted no time in 'organizing' a trip to a park called Fairy-tale Paradise. She even 'arranged' with Shayesteh to bring Artin and meet us there. I know what you're wondering: Hey, man-beast, what's up with all the 'quotations'? Well, as they say, a picture tells a thousand words.

This picture actually only tells one word. It begins with 'S' and rhymes with 'hit'. It was also the word that Angie kept repeating when she realized that she had no signal. See, it's a big park and I had stupidly let the ladies 'organize' things. In their defense, they did 'arrange' to meet up at the park, only they neglected to really nail down the 'when' and 'where' part.

For being so technically challenged, I was surprised that Angie would place so much reliance on a cell phone. In the end, it was Tommy who came to the rescue.

Well, at least Christine will be glad to know that Patrick is not the only train freak in the family. Tom kept grunting and saying super intelligent things like 'kachoo-boo-magoody'. I know it's hard to believe, but at some deep level, Tommy spoke to me. Oh Wise One told me to kick Angie's ass on the train, which went through the entire park, and have Peter's 'eagle eyes' look for another lost woman screaming at her cell phone. We finally found Shayesteh by a sign that read: 'Meeting point for challenged Moms'. I guess this happens a lot.

We celebrated by shooting animals in a cage. Hey, finally an attraction I can relate to.

Peter got as far as pinning his hands beneath the fifty-pound rifle and grinning for help. Angie has spent some time in West Virginia, so she was popping rounds off before Peter could say 'I can't feel my fingers'. David was busy trying to figure out if his head fit between the bars. It did. Seconds later, David was trying to figure out if his head would come back out. It didn't.

As you can imagine, Mr. Sensitive was there to laugh and point fingers. When I tried to take a picture, Angie turned the gun on me.

'Steve! Put that away - he's screaming his head off. Just help him out!'

I secretly think that Angie got her head stuck once and someone took pictures; this would at least explain her completely irrational objections. If anyone reading this has copies of Angie's stuck head, I will pay for them. Somehow, I think I'll pay for them even if nobody steps forward.

After completely missing out certain cash for what would have been the perfect clip for 'America's Cruelest Home Videos', Angie decided it was time to feed the rats.

If I had wanted rats, we would have gone to Disneyland. I didn't even think it was that weird that we saw rodents, I just wished Angie had not encouraged the boys to get it to come back out by feeding it. In the end, even animal crackers could not tempt Fievel to come out of its hole, which made me wonder what the hell those things are made of.

Before I could think of anything other than sawdust and rat poison, the boys had moved on to bumper cars. Angie jumped in the rink to get a couple 'action' photos of the crash-test dummies trying to kill each other, but quickly wimped her ass to the sidelines when she was almost run over twice.

I scolded her for being such a wuss and demanded the camera. This shot - I swear to you - is half a second before David plowed into my ankle. Full speed.

Needless to say, I stopped calling Angie names and limped off to the next deadly rink of pain.

Luckily for Angie, Tommy does not yet know that chariots should be set on fire. He made the Olympic buggy driver do three laps before Romulus and Remus announced to the spectators that they needed the water closet.

After relieving Peter and David, we went for a horse ride, where David once again demonstrated that he likes to things Sinatra-style.

I actually caught Peter checking out David as he goofed around on his horse. I then witnessed Peter attempt one of David's moves, which resulted in him sliding down the side of his horse and frantically grabbing the reins to narrowly get himself safely back in the saddle. When the ride ended, I asked Peter how it was.

'It's a baby ride,' explained Mr. Nonchalant.

'Oh, okay. It's just, I thought I saw you panicking there for a moment when your head almost got caught in the rails.'

'Nope, not me. Maybe it was that kid over there with the blue shirt and the big head.'

Awesome. In that one sentence there was flat-out lying, denial, and deflection of blame on innocent children. Hey, wait a minute...has Davey been coaching you?

David took his role as coach seriously and stayed on the sidelines for the big air bed race.

Peter and Artin completely ignored the coach's shouts to trip each other. When David's suggestions to head butt and elbow the enemy in the eye were ignored, he pretty much gave up on the whole coaching bit and returned from retirement to teach the players how the game used to be. Oddly enough, Peter didn't appreciate Coach David's full-contact version, so he decided to take Tommy on the Power Slide.

It was actually quite cute because Tommy completely froze when it was their turn. He had no problems climbing the three-story ladder to get to the top; he just apparently thought that was exciting enough. Peter finally convinced him with an offer to ride down in his lap. It was so 'big-brotherly' that I almost lost my lunch.

After David and Artin's bounce-n-crunch game, they found Peter and decided to boo the soccer moms.

I don't what the hell Shayesteh did to piss off the spectators, but her reaction prompted Peter to whip out his red card. Shayesteh voiced her disapproval.

Tommy came to Peter's defense and asked the pesky fan to go away; she responded with 'no'.

After thanking Shayesteh repeatedly for Tommy's permanent hearing loss, we moved on to the 'Swing of Death'.

When I got to the scene, Peter was showing off how he could jump off the rotating swings and then jump back on. I told him that he shouldn't do that; it was a stupid idea and he would probably get hurt. I guess Mommy knows best, though, since she advised him to ignore me and continue with his daredevil stunts.

No shit, two seconds later, Peter tried to jump on one of the flying swings, missed, and somehow managed to get his neck tangled in the metal suspension wires. It took me half a second to realize that Peter was being dragged around in circles in a metal noose. It took another half a second for me to jump in and completely break the ride with a perfectly executed manual stop method that I like to call 'Father Freaks out on Runaway Carnival Ride'.

It is quite possible that I completely destroyed the 'Swing of Death', but I'm thinking that parents everywhere with would thank me. Sure, we all want to strangle our kids at one point, but we don't some carnival ride to take away our fun.

After saving my first-born from certain strangulation, I had had quite enough of the Fairy-tale Paradise park. On my way out, I came across this lovely sign.

Holy shit! Is that a horse eating another horse's poop? First rats that don't eat cookies, now this; what kind of sick, twisted park is this? Fairy tales, my ass.

'That's it, Angie - let's go!'

'But the boys wanted ice-cream.'

'Oh. Okay.'

Ice-cream with the boys was fun, if you exclude Tom. See, Tom was a bit indecisive when it came to which flavor he wanted. He actually wanted all of them, and his ear-piercing demands to lick everyone's ice-cream were only surpassed by David's gleeful laughter as he kept taunting and teasing Tom with his ice-pop.

After dessert, we went home for dinner. Artin was spending the night, which somehow meant that Peter and David needed to fight with each other. Don't ask me why; I just know that Artin was to blame.

David started it all out by whipping out his patented 'evil finger' and would not stop pointing it at Peter. He probably did not stop because it was pissing off Peter and this amused David. He was no so thrilled when the ref went straight to red and told David he couldn't play in the after-dinner soccer game that was promised by yours truly.

FIFA may not overrule decisions, but I am not a corrupt organization full of crusty suits that would rather allow shitty-ass decisions than to introduce instant replay. I had no problem telling the ref that his call was not on, which made David laugh. He even got one more finger wag in before lacing up and heading out to the field.

We agreed on the rules before starting. It was one on one, and the third gooftard was the ref. David was on the sidelines for the first game as Peter and Artin fought it out. David loves the color red, so it was not surprising what both players received within minutes of their first kick.

This shot was actually me getting a red card for taking pictures. Artin won the first match and switched places with David. Peter made it halfway across the field before picking up the ball and throwing it at David's head. What he lacks in sportsmanship and understanding of the rules of soccer, he made up for with his ability to throw. The ball pinged off of David's forehead, knocking him to the ground. As luck would have it, the ball bounced into the goal, which prompted Peter to start running circles around David and screaming 'LOSER!'. Peter also has an evil finger.

At least the ref was on ball, who raced up to Peter and gave him a yellow and a red card - 'because that was really mean.'

Peter tried to argue, but Artin just responded with 'which part of red don't you understand?'. It was funny, and I chose to copy Artin when it came time to go back in. Which part of 'get your asses inside, it's time for bed' don't you understand?

After such a long and exciting day, it was no surprise that the three bonzos were actually ready for bed. At least the day ended with a bounce, too. Kinda.

Ladder Talk:
1) What was the best part of your day?
Peter: As I played 'disconeysian'.
David: When I play foosball and I was the winner.

2) What was the worst part of your day?
Peter: When I couldn't go in my bed 'cause you try with the mattress but there is not so big room.
David: When we needed to go up.

3) What would you like to do tomorrow?
Peter: Play with Artin in my high bed.
David: Play with Artin.