Pizza Rat is an internet sensation based of of the most famous NYC rat since splinter taught those crazy turtles karate. The thing is… how can this brown rat carrying a slice of pizza down the steps of a New York City Subway station in Manhattan be any cuter than our very own (above) pizza rat?!????
Thanks to the writers over at #MenWhoBlog for naming us a a TOP DAD BLOG for 2022!!!
This is a post I knew I’d have to write one day, but never wanted to actually have to write. I have no idea how I’m going to get through without completely breaking down. But having just been through this awful course of events, if I can spare a few lines of sorrow, yet in some way figure out how to break the news to my kids, this will have been worth it.
Our Buster was our first baby. Steph and I brought him home when we were newlyweds 15 years ago. We were broke college kids and we would go to eat at Olive Garden and then go play with the puppies who were in need of of a home. It was a fun way to spend a Friday date night. Buster was there for a while. A few weeks maybe and he grew on us. I decided to bring Buster home as a surprise for Steph the day after our wedding. It was the perfect gift for both of us.
Through the years he ate through a few jackets (he preferred the taste of Northface), he was the reason for the demise of no less than 578 chapsticks, ate multiple meatballs and once farted out biscuits after eating a bag of bisquick.
Buster enjoyed many wall rides with his bestie Sadie and drank his fair share of spilled beer, but he always preferred a glass of Chardonnay to wash down a steak he had pulled off the counter (sorry Vinny)
He tolerated ear tugs from his younger brother Max and rougher than necessary “love pats” from young toddlers who didn’t know better. He kissed them and snuggled them and enjoyed eating all the food they spilled on the floor.
Over the last few months, when I imagined the end of Buster’s life (I know, morbid thought), I always pictured the vet telling me that he had some incurable disease. We never wanted him to hurt and I assumed the decision would be clear cut and obvious. But it wasn’t. I assume now it never is.
Buster’s struggles the past few months, specifically this week, we’re tough to watch. But even to the end, he was sniffing around looking for some scraps of food one of the boys left behind, or something Max might not have finished.
Everything happened relatively quickly at the end. We tried to gently tell the boys how Buster was getting old and really needed to go see the doctor soon. You can never prepare anyone especially kids for something like this, but somehow I think Jackson knew.
As I was about to leave for the vet, I had each of the kids give Buster a kiss. They did, and then they saw that Steph was crying. Jax walked over and gave her a hug and kiss.
This morning, I chose to speak to each of them separately, Jax after breakfast and Oliver tonight (we didn’t want to ruin his thanksgiving party at school today 🙄.
There’s no need to go into details about the conversation. That’s between a dad and son. But Jax took it well. He said he was sad, but I could tell he already had known. Oliver is still too young to “get it”. But I’m sure he’ll have questions I’m not sure I’ll know how to answer. But that’s ok because I’ve learned sometimes it’s ok to not have an answer. Just to say I don’t know and then give a hug and a kiss and be there. We always will be, just like the memories of the last 15+ years we have of Buster. They will always be there.
I’ve been lucky enough in my lifetime to not have to face the kind of natural disasters that so many people deal with between hurricanes down south, earthquakes on the west coast, tsunamis, tornados, sharknados… and the list goes on and on.
Don’t get me wrong we’ve had some serious weather to deal with, Hurricane Sandy and Irene for example. We’ve lost power before. As a matter of fact a few years ago we were without power for almost two weeks during a massive snowstorm. The kids and Steph went to grandma’s house and I “braved”
It here by the fireplace. We lost a lot of food and whatever was in the fridge and freezer… things were tough, but not life threatening. You throw a couple logs on the fire wrap yourself up in sweatpants, a hoodie and a few warm blankets and you can survive… I did. . We have been very lucky. But as of right now… We’re on Day five with no power and it’s becoming an issue.
But this… no power when it’s 90* with 100% humidity outside? That’s some rapture kind of stuff. Right now as I’m writing this, I have decided to sacrifice the fridge and freezer for the ability to live another day. I just “borrowed” two giant ice packs out of the freezer for my upper and lower body. Yes I have a wife and two children who are hot and sweaty, but I’m sorry, it’s hotter than hell right now and at this point it’s survival of the fittest, (or the one willing to walk downstairs in the pitch black and grab an ice pack)!
UPDATE: FYI both ice packs have been confiscated by masked characters who looked very similar to Steph and Jax!!!
At this very second there are four humans and one cockapoo and a mini-schnauzer in a king sized bed… all seem to be cool and asleep. I, on the other hand, am sweating and sleeping on the floor. It is hotter than hades in this house and there is no air being circulated, or any breeze to bring some relief to these children who don’t yet understand that not everyone in the world has central air conditioning.
Yet, we survive and persist, but I’m not going to lie… I’m exhausted. Everyone is exhausted. There’s no power. People are fighting over generators and which tree fell on who’s side of the yard. There’s generators as loud as a WWII tank running all over the neighborhood and people are frustrated. Children are tripping all over extension cords, it’s a war zone.
Here, at Casa de Chronicles, it’s not easy either. Mom works harder in a week than most people work in a life time, dad is trying to create multiple reopening plans for school, the dogs love having everyone home everyday and Oliver and Jax are stuck in the middle… all of that with no power. Every child in 2020 is going to need therapy, because this year keeps on “one-upping itself!”
Luckily when you have good friends you can count on them if you need to borrow some sugar or a stick of butter when you run out… or in my case a massive generator, three gas containers about 800 extension cords!!! So at least we have a small AC unit I found to stick in the window of the bedroom and the refrigerator running and an added bonus is we now have working internet and can now charge all of our devices… because god forbid Jax and Oliver can’t play Tom Gold Run on their iPads!!! Thank god for good friends.
Quotes of the week without power:
“Why won’t Alexa answer me?!??”
“Dad, we still don’t have power” (every 35 seconds as he flips a light switch)
“Can I plug this in here?”
“Someone throw me some soap.” (as I’m in the pool)
“Why doesn’t my iPad work???!???”
“No you can not plug Alexa in to the extension cord running the refrigerator!!!”
“Why do you always smell like gas?”
“CLOSE the refrigerator door!!!!!!”
“CLOSE the freezer door!!!!”
Found this “challenge” online. Ask you child these questions and document exactly what they say. So here’s my interview with Oliver (age 3.5ish).
1. What is something daddy always says to you? “Poop”
2. What makes you happy? “My night lights”
3. What makes you sad? [When I am]… “mad”
4. What makes you laugh? “When Busty and Max poop and pee.”
5. How old are you? “Four”
6. How old is Mommy? “Two”
7. How old is Daddy? “Ummm, five”
8. What is your favorite thing to do? “Watch Paw Patrol”
9. Who is your best friend? “Miss Missa”
10. What do you want to be when you grow up? “Free”
11. What are you really good at? “Pooping, bc I get peanut M&Ms”
12. What are you not very good at? “Going in the pool”
13. What did you do today? “Ride our tractors and mow the lawn.”
14. What is your favorite food? “Peanut butter sandwich and Mac and cheese.”
15. What is your favorite song? “BABY SHARK!!!”
16. What do you want for your birthday this year? “Another pink watch bc the pink jewel in my pink watch fell off and I need another one.”
17. What is your favorite animal? “Bubble Guppies”
18. What is love? “Going to bed.”
20. Where do you live? “My new bed”
19. What does daddy and mommy do for work? “Mommy’s job is making race car tracks with me and daddy’s job is fixing the stairs.”
I often imagined the sort of family vacations I’d have when and if I was ever lucky enough to become a father. They were based on the trips I took as a young boy, whether it be to the Cape with my parents or Wildwood with my grandparents, I imagined walking along the beach with my children and finding seashells and maybe even taking the tramcar up and down the boardwalk. It would be peaceful and quiet, my wife and I hand in hand, my children smiling and taking in the beautiful ocean views.
Well, since those days, I’ve become a husband to a beautiful woman and have two fantastic children. We’ve been away together, both to the cape and wildwood, we’ve flown to Aruba and been to a friends house in FL. We’ve been away quite a bit and it’s always so amazing, but this year… we’ll…
We decided to stay in a beautiful historic resort… the kids were in awe when we pulled up, “dad are staying in a castle!!??” It seemed so perfect. What could possibly go wrong?
For one thing, the resort was surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and has three pools… sounds great until you realize that my youngest would rather eat vegetables than go near water, which wouldn’t have been a problem if my other son wasn’t such an avid water-sport enthusiast, hurling himself into any pool or lake with all the foresight of a Labrador going after a stick, leaving his younger brother in tears far behind on land.
There’s always the beach though, right? Mom and dad decided to take the clan to a boat launch that would take us across the Atlantic and over to a beautiful island for the day. We’re all packed up and it takes us ten minutes to get everything out of the car (coolers, beach bags slung over our shoulders and chairs being dragged out of the trunk). We are finally get everybody ready, but of course everyone now needs to go to the bathroom. After what seems like hours and hundreds of pounds of supplies we finally walk down to the pier only to see the captain untieing his boat from the dock tie and Capt Crunch tells us he’s sorry but he’s not doing any more boat trips today.
Yes we called ahead. Yes, we stopped at the store first to make a reservation, yes the woman at the desk gave me the address for the boat and yes she told me that it runs all day and night. Yet, somehow after got down to the pier got unpacked walked all the way down to the pier with two kids and 40 bags and the guy said he’s not doing any more trips today.
So through tears we drag the kids back to the car after failing our oldest who’s body has now become Gumby like. He apparently has wanted to go on a boat his, “entire life”, since he “was like three.” We have now become enemies number 1 and 2. After what seems like all the tears in both their bodies had run their course we finally get back to the hotel l. We then start the process over and get completely packed up to walk down to the private beach at the hotel… we have all our NEW bags packed up and even Oliver is happily making his way down.
We take two steps out of the hotel and Jackson informs us he has to freaking POOP! On a dime we stop, turn face and start walking into the hotel, both silent, afraid the other might snap! Father and son get all the way into the hotel and son informs dad he doesn’t need to go to the bathroom anymore, and now wants to use this opportunity to tell me all about how he doesn’t want to go to the beach anymore.
This can’t get any worse right? As Jax and I are getting ready to walk out Steph and Oliver walk back inside because Oliver has to take a crap now. It’s now 2:00pm, we left the house at 10:00am to go to the beach and we still haven’t gotten to any beach, no sand, no water… nothing. Just toilets and tears. (Eventually we made it to the beach, although according to Staph, the prime sun had already passed us by). 🙄
Luckily there was enough peanut butter bagels and apple juice for the boys and more than enough sun for mom. While the whole trip seemed like the plot of a movie staring Clark Griswold, there’s always enough fun and laughs to keep things interesting.
I still vividly remember the trips to Wildwood with Nan and Pop and would consider then some of the best times of my life. I’m confident that Jax and Ollie will always remember the feeling of family and love on their trips they take with us. I guess you could say whether it be a National Lampoon style vacation or not, having time away with family is the best kind of vacation. .
But guess what? Maybe one day Jax will claim to vividly recall this family vacation and say,. “Remember the summer when you wouldn’t let us go on a boat!???” Maybe, sighing nostalgically on his own yacht, he’ll tell us it was, “the best summer vacation he’d ever had!”
Distance learning has its benefits and it’s downfalls. Being home everyday, while also being almost completely unavailable is the perfect definition of what I mean.
BENIFIT: Being able to help potty train your three year old.
DOWNFALL: Being able to help potty train your three year old.
We’ve had many trials and tribulations with the whole potty training thing with everyone in this house. Hell… the dogs are still strategically placing landmines all over the house. We’re a clean up crew around here.
But then there are days that make the landmines all with it…
Oliver walked calmly over to Mom and said he needed to go potty. It was a clear potty training win. People all over the house, from far and wide screamed, danced and bearing gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Amazing right… Fast forward a few hours…
I was summoned by the screams of an almost six year old… “Dad, Oliver is POOPING!!!” The same child that hours earlier had calmly walked inside and properly asked to use the restroom to do his business, now smiled, half hidden behind the coffee table.
Potty training… The highs are so high, but let me tell you the lows are so low (and messy, as well).
The last few years have been a wild ride. There’s been crying and laughing. There’s been tears and there’s been blood, there’s been puking and then there’s been more blood.
Of course we can’t forget the fact that there has been poop (both human and canine) in every square inch of our house. We’ve got one child who is Semi-appropriately using the bathroom. Yeah ok, so he may pee outside even when there is an indoor toilet within reach, but at least he understands a relatively appropriate way to relieve himself.
That brings us to this little dude. The lower sibling on the totem pole. He’s working hard to keep up with his brother. Don’t forget however, he’s only two years old. We’ve been intermittently trying potty training thing, but this kid is ready. He’s constantly yelling at us, “mom, dad… peeeeeeee- potty!!” We just haven’t gotten it all together.
That was until today…
No big deal… but this little dude, our littlest.. yea he just peed on the potty!
… Pooping however… is still a work in progress!!
We’re just not cut out to be going out by our selves anymore. We’re just not those people anymore.
“Go out, just the two of you.”
“Yup guys need a date night.”
“Get a babysitter, I’m sure Auntie Tricia would love to babysit!”
Sounds great in theory. Everyone eeds a little time to themselves. Every couple needs to spend some “us” time. Stephanie and I deserve some “us” time for sure… FOOOWWWW SHHHHOOOOOWWWW! But the thing is… I’m not so sure we’re better off without our third wheel.
Things seem to just work out better when the little guy is around. Food tastes better, drinks are colder and the night just seems more fun.
Yet, for some reason the one time we leave him home and head out on an adventure by ourselves, all hell breaks loose. There’s a time and place for everything… There’s a time to be serious and a time to laugh. Unfortunately there’s nights like tonight which don’t fit in any category.
New outfit to go out… $50 Bucks. dinner out… $124 bucks. Crapping your pants in a public restroom… PRICELESS!Maybe next time we’ll just do take out! Good thing we don’t have to pay the babysitter!
You know how before you become a parent everything that comes out of a baby is disguising and gross… well that doesn’t change much when you do become a parent. Your own kids bodily fluids become a little more tolerable because, well really you don’t have much of a choice. I never thought i’d be so nonchalant about having been pooped on or having to wipe someone else s butt, but apparently there is an innate ability to do so when you become a parent.
However, and that is a HUGE HOWEVER… that does not and will not change your ability to withstand other people’s poo. I know I’ve written about this before: (https://newdadchronicles.wordpress.com/2014/10/27/ocd-and-yuck/), but this morning took on a whole new meaning of grossness.
This morning I watched no less then three people step in human poo. Where did the poo come from? When did it get there? No one actually knows… Or at least they aren’t willing to admit it. Poop is funny to me… Poop is always funny to most people, but poop is also always gross.
There will never be a time when someone who steps in poop is not funny. Yea it probably sucks a little bit for the people who need to clean that up, but it’s funny for the rest of us. Knowing that somewhere out there there’s someone dropping a log and then running away giddy as can be is super funny. We may not know who it was… We don’t even know his real name, but for the purpose of this story we will just refer to him as the “Brown Bomber.”
I’m not going to sit and say that all of a sudden I’m able to face poop head on; I still want nothing to do with it. There is still a feeling of (even if its just for a minute) where you wish you didn’t have to cleanup someone else’s poop… especially as I catch my son’s eye and he gives me that look of, “Yup, I just pooed all over the place… What are you gonna do about it? Nothing, except clean it up. Because I own you now.” That’s the reason why your own kid’s poop is something you have to take care of. It’s not an option it’s just something you have to do.
…other people’s poo… ehhhhh… can’t do it…
Shout out the SW who took one for the team and stepped all in the poo pile first!