Friday, May 20, 2011

Un-Macho Dad

I accidentally referred to myself as a Stay-At-Home-Mom the other day.

It was just a slip, right? I’m a macho Stay-At-Home-Dad, right? It’s not like I gave up my manliness when I started wearing bright orange rubber gloves and a frilly apron… did I?

To be on the safe side, I joined a gym. Gyms are manly places where men get pumped up, and testosterone is in such abundance that it leaks out of the doors and makes passers-by want to grunt, scratch, and watch boxing.

I went at 9:00AM. I had not been notified in advance that at 9:00 AM, the gym had only Stay-At-Home-Moms talking about cleaning supplies, babies, and The View.

I walked in determined to do a manly workout despite the estrogen fueled conversation. However, one lady had the audacity to say that the Shark Steam Mop couldn’t pick up crayon marks off of hard wood floors.

I couldn’t let that one lie.

I informed her that you had to pump up the steam and let the mop head sit on the crayon mark for a few seconds, then it would come right up. Amateurs.

After my workout with the ladies, I was still not feeling the macho vibe, so I decided to get my truck fixed. After all there are not many things more manly than a greasy old 4x4 plow truck.

I put my bike in the back so that I could ride home, and changed into my stretchy Spandex bike shorts. I drove down into town and parked in the repair shop lot next to some very manly 4x4’s.

I swaggered into the shop with my bike tights and sexy little bike shoes on, and told the grease monkey behind the counter that I had a leak in my rear end.

That’s manly.

He looked confused and slightly ill. I explained that my manly truck was dripping oil out of the rear differential. He seemed relieved, and started asking me the typical manly questions, such as, “What kind of rear end do you have?” I stumbled over the questions and used words such as, “thingy” and “pointy-ish” to describe my manly undercarriage.

Eventually, the 250 pound unshaven man realized I was clueless and went into help-the-damsel-in-distress mode. He explained that my posi-traction rear end required fully disassembling to replace the seal which was causing the problem and that they could take care of it and call me when it was done.

I left the keys on the counter, pulled my bike tights out of my crack and walked out.

Back at the house, I cranked up my iTunes. ABBA blared from the speakers. During Dancing Queen, I had an epiphany.

Maybe I should give up and embrace my un-macho self. After a full day of housework, grocery shopping, helping with homework, and cooking dinner; I could settle into a comfy chair and watch the Notebook on DVD.

Okay… not The Notebook. I am still a guy, after all.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Killer Chocolate

My cousin is kind, compassionate, and loving… but if you start talking about vomit, she will beat you into a coma with your own arm.

If you have similar issues with vomit, stop reading, because this will make you unhappy.

This winter, I took my kids into the library after school. My daughter’s school bag, a treasure trove of trinkets, trash, food, and hair clips, was left in the car along with our two dogs.

Upon returning, my little white dog, Tebby, looked up from an empty Nestle’s Semi-sweet Morsels bag, wagging her little nub tail, and sporting a chocolate mustache.

The bag had been nearly full, so considering she only weighed about 14 pounds, that meant my little dog ate 16% of her body weight in delicious milk chocolate.

I seemed to recall that chocolate was bad for dogs in more than a waistline way. I did a quick “chocolate & dogs” search on my phone. On the screen, I saw stories of death, descriptions of death, and time tables of death. Apparently, chocolate is the smack of the dog world, and Tebby had overdosed. If she didn’t throw up, she had a couple of hours to live - tops.

Next, I searched for vomiting recipes for dogs. Hey! What do you know! There’s a bunch of them! I picked an easy one, which involves hydrogen peroxide. I told the kids to sit tight, and I ran across the street to buy H2O2.

Brown bottle in hand, we went looking for a lovely spot to save the dog. The phone said I had less than an hour left before serious nerve damage started, so driving the 15 minutes home was totally out of the question. Riverside Park, though, was close and provided a beautiful backdrop for throwing up.

As we pulled in, I told the kids that making dogs puke requires teamwork. The kids were up to the task, so while I held the dog down and held her mouth up and open, one child poured hydrogen peroxide down her throat, while the other child supervised. Convinced that enough went down her gullet, I let her go. We watched her lick the now-foaming chocolate mustache, and look up at us as if we must have accidentally restrained her and poured nasty liquid down her throat.

Almost a minute passed before I declared, “It’s not working! Round TWO!” I grabbed her again and we poured another batch down her throat.

That time, when I let go of her, she clued in on the pattern and decided she was not interested in Round 3. She bolted toward the swing set, but only made it a few yards before the first heaving lurch.

For the next 30 minutes, we followed our poor little cockapoo around the park while she vomited up nearly a pound of Semi-Sweet Morsels (and a few unidentified things from my daughter’s school bag). The snow in a 100’ radius was splotched with foaming choco-barf.

On the way home, we all kept looking at Tebby, expecting her to either die or throw up again. I called the vet from the driveway. He told me we did the right thing, she would be fine, and the second dose of hydrogen peroxide was unnecessary. Unfortunately, Tebby heard the last part and didn’t speak to me for a few days.

I know she learned her lesson, because she asked for a real bunny to eat for Easter as opposed to a chocolate one.

I’m currently working on a hydrogen peroxide juice box for next Halloween to curb my children’s already startling sugar habit.