Things You Learn at a Garage Sale

We’ve never had a garage sale so I really didn’t know what to expect. After 9 hours of manning my perch by myself on Friday I have learned a couple interesting things.

First thing is that Riley is a budding entrepreneur. She made a sign to put on the cooler and decided her and Kinsey and Bailey are going to sell pop. Check it out.

Had to tell her we probably couldn’t get away with selling the Michelob Golden Draft Light but her marketing instincts are already on the mark.

Second thing is birds have their own social strata. You really don’t see it until unless you’re sitting in your driveway at 7 a.m. with nothing to do. But Grackles are the Whiskey Tango of the bird world. No matter how nice your birdfeeder is or how nice the neighborhood is around the bird feeder, eventually the Grackles show up.

The goldfinches are tending to their nests, keeping them neat, flying over to the feeder to converse with their neighbors the wrens and chickadees. Maybe they chirp awhile about the Robins who moved in up on the gutter and come back every year but aren’t real sociable. Probably a few snide remarks about the Cardinals who have to be way up at the top of the tree, singing away making sure everybody knows they are there.

The Red Winged Blackbirds with that crazy art on the wings, they have to know it’s permanent. But you can’t talk to them about it, they’ll just sit up on the telephone wire making sarcastic comments about how out of it all the other birds are. And what the hell is the deal with the Starlings? They’re everywhere, make a helluva lot of noise, but don’t seem to live anywhere in the neighborhood.

Then the Grackles show up. You don’t notice it at first. But then there’s a few more and pretty soon you’re sitting there going, “Dang, where’d all these Grackles come from.”

Last thing is that completely unbeknownst to me I’ve become friendly. Don’t know how it happened. But I actually had a ball sitting there in my chair, reading my Jeff Shaara Novel “The Steel Wave” centered around D-Day in 1944 and talking with all the folks who strolled up the driveway.

I wore my Steelers hat and and learned that yes indeed Steeler Nation is everywhere. They showed up bought an old Steelers winter hat and talked about how we need to get back to running the ball and pounding people.

I had a nice couple from southeast Iowa take my insulation off my hands. They are fixing up a home in Ft. Madison. It was built in the ‘20’s and has somehow avoided flood damage over the years but has a heck of a lot of rain damage and that there insulation is going to help one heck of a lot when it comes to their house.

The double stroller went to a nice lady originally from Colombia. She has a little boy about to turn two and she’s pregnant with number two. Don’t know what it is yet. I helped her load it into her SUV.

State trooper from Osceola walked off with a big ol’ box of towels and rags. He fixes old bicycles up and gives them to underprivileged kids.

A pregnant woman and her mom showed up and looked through all the baby clothes and didn’t find much. Turns out she’s having a boy. Yeah, she came to wrong garage sale. But a couple with four girls showed up right after that. That guy and I had a few laughs about our collective impending doom.

There was a nice lady who lives just west of here, originally from way out in southwest Iowa, who was looking for some things for her grandkids. They live in Minnesota and Arizona. Her one son, he’s 40, lives up near Minneapolis. Her other son, he’s 42, lives out near Phoenix. Too dry out there for her but she’ll be visiting in a couple weeks.

I had an interesting conversation with a friendly mom and daughter. Kinda reminded of the times my Grandma would get upset and start yelling in Polish. You didn’t know what the heck she was saying but you had a pretty good idea of what was happening. Same with these two ladies. The mom only spoke Spanish. But that didn’t stop us from talking. Not sure what we were talking about but it cracked up the daughter. We used a lot of hand signals. Who knew but the “thumbs up” signal evidently is the international symbol for “you’ve got a deal.” She bought 4 or 5 of Mom’s old shirts.

And of course, there is my new friend Saloo. A nice Indian lady who just recently lost her husband of over 40 years. She asked me to pick out a few kid-friendly VHS tapes for her granddaughters. Her daughter sells real estate. Saloo also has a tent at the farmer’s market. She was telling about some spicy rolls she makes. Made me promise to visit her there. I helped her load some rugs and children’s clothes into her car.

Yeah, I know, the whole day went like that. Weird. I think I’m onto something though. John McCain might want to think about having a garage sale or two to help boost his numbers with the working people.

Published in: on June 29, 2008 at 9:08 pm  Leave a Comment  

Loosely Related Events

A series of loosely related events can only be appreciated in their entirety. You can’t appreciate their significance until later. Like the Seven Days Battles on the Virginia Peninsula in 1862. At the time it looked like a setback for the Army of the Potomac when in reality it was General McClellan’s complete ineptitude as a battlefield commander that was revealed.

Sometimes I feel like General McClellan. You put in a good amount of planning and within minutes your kids have blown your plan all too hell. Come to think of it Riley’s ability to counterattack brings to light a frightening parallel with General Lee. Hmm…

Regardless, on Monday Bailey and I got snacks for the girls when I stopped to get gas. Cheetos for big girls, Fritos for Bailey.

“Dad, the girls are going to love these. They’re cheetorific.”

Why does this matter? Well we’re still preparing for the garage sale. Already got two replies to my ad on Craig’s List. The double stroller and the play kitchen are in demand. Act now if you’re interested.

So we’re a little tired and out of sorts because our routine has been disrupted. And Dad likes routine. I’m mowing the lawn after we get home yesterday when rebel cavalry, I mean Kinsey and Bailey, pay me a couple visits.

“Dad, I’m hungry. Kinsey has cheetos. I like cheetos, can I have some?”

“I don’t think there are enough cheetos Bails, have something else. You ate all your fritos yesterday and Kinsey saved some of her cheetos. I’ll make dinner as soon as I’m finished.”


And the First Battle of Snacks is underway. I round the pine trees and head north up a small rise and notice Kinsey advancing on my left flank.

“Kinsey what do you want? I’m trying to mow the yard here.”

“I’m still hungry. I want something else.”

“Wait for dinner.”


“Tough. Go back inside and wait.”

I always outgun the rebels. They’re quicker than me and can often outmaneuver me in the field but if I get them in a straight up fight, I just roll out the big 200 pound, 8 inch Swamp Angel and just destroy their will to fight.

The First Battle of Snacks ends in tactical victory for Dad.

I continue up the rise past the air conditioner and into the front yard. I’m startled by what sounds like whining. Quick glances reveal Kinsey approaching from the west.

“Dad can I play on the computer?”

“No. Read a book or play on the swingset. You’re a kid. It’s summer.”

“We never get to play on the computer. I don’t want to do anything else cause it’s all boring.”

“Tough. Figure it out Kinsey.”

The Battle of We Never Get to Play on the Computer is quick but ends with the rebels stomping back into the house.

Suddenly more whining. I’ve been flanked. Somehow Bailey has managed to circle around behind me and she’s holding a banana. Or it used to be a banana. Now it looks like a vanilla wafer after a baby has gnawed on it for hours.

“I can’t open my banana! And it’s all yucky.”

She’s added some pretty good theatrics to this too with the tears and everything. I might have been impressed had she been riding a pony and wearing a big hat with a red plume. Anyway, I reach over with one hand, pop off the top of the banana peel and continue mowing. Sometimes I even impress myself. The Second Battle of Snacks isn’t really a battle at all as the Army of Dad demonstrates it’s banana peeling prowess which leads to an immediate de-escalation of hostilities.

I finish up mowing, reply to some inquiries about our garage sale inventory and start dinner. But I’m a good hour behind schedule here and the Battle of Whining About When Dinner Will Be Ready has already started.

“My tummy is grumbly. When are we eating?”

“My stomach hurts, I’m soooooo hungry.”

“Hey Dad look at this, I can jump over all the shoes. I’m really bouncy.”

You gotta love Bailey. She lined up the nine pairs of girl shoes and one pair of Mom sandals piled up by the door and is running and jumping over all the them.

Corn dogs and melon seem to satisfy the girls and they’re off to the shower.

“Dad no way am I taking a shower with Kinsey. She’s too whiny.”

This is actually true. Kinsey is really whiny and that always ends in Riley turning into the Russian Secret Police and threatening to banish Kinsey to the gulags in Siberia. But luckily the Army of Dad has received reinforcements! The Army of Mom arrives in time to turn the tide! Like the Third Army breaking out of Normandy, General Patton, err Mom, doesn’t mess around. Showers done. Pajamas on. Hair brushed. Whining silenced. The Battle of Showertime is a resounding victory.

So like I was saying, a series of loosely related events really don’t mean anything until you look back. Events like Cheetos, the lawnmower, a mushy banana, grumbly tummies and shoe jumping…

Published in: on June 25, 2008 at 11:17 am  Leave a Comment  

Garage Sale Archeology

We’re having a garage sale. Wanted to have it today and tomorrow but due to the sheer volume of stuff (otherwise known as crap and junk) that we have, I think we need a little more time to prepare.

Turns out this is a major logistical undertaking. I really thought I would just bring all the stuff up from the basement, display it in the garage and on the driveway and it would be all good.

I realize now that was just silly.

This must be how Ike felt preparing for the D-day invasion. Our neighbors are coming over asking me if we’re moving. You name it – it’s in the garage right now. Sure we have the normal garage sale fare like toys, kid clothes and baby gear. But we also have six rolls of R-13 thermal and acoustical insulation still in the original packaging. Four Longaberger baskets. Risk the World Conquest Game. A Brian Giles bobble-head from ’02 back when he played for the Pirates. 51 candles of varying scents and sizes. An 18 piece barbecue set. A fondue set. Eleven vases. Lumber. And more kid shoes than Payless Shoes has in stock.

I thought I had all the loot relocated to the garage on Wednesday night after I’d brought up the 21 plastic bins of clothes and toys. In what would become a recurring pattern of miscalculations and underestimations, I realized there was more. Yesterday morning I thought it would be a good idea to go through the girls’ rooms for any old, unused or forgotten items that I might be able to sell and use the cash to continue to build my sweet collection of NFL throwback mini-helmets in my basement. I’m halfway to recreating the 70’s. I wish there was a way to bring back the old Oilers and Bengals uni’s…

Anyway, I’m going through Kinsey’s and Bailey’s room. They have this play kitchen that Grandpa and Grandma got them for Christmas awhile ago. That’s definitely for sale. But I should probably gather up all the dishware and food that goes along with it.

Holy Crap.

You know how you start a project and it just morphs and grows and mutates into something else? Like the Social Security system or Geoff Goldblum in The Fly or MTV. I’m finding random stuff like renegade melty beads, orphan socks, a gift card to Brighton still in its heart shaped tin. Tin is for sale by the way.

I crawl under the bed thinking I’ll just drag all that stuff out and go through it. There’s so much dust under there that I look like Indiana Jones when he emerges with the golden idol after outrunning that giant rock in the Peruvian jungle. I seriously expected Belloq and the Hovitos to be the standing there with poison darts. At one point I think I saw the Ark of the Covenant. But it was covered with Polly Pockets accessories and hidden behind some stuffed animals. There was so many Beanie Babies under the bed it looked like they had organized themselves into a undisciplined, yet blood thirsty, paramilitary group complete with sentries, trenchworks and boobytraps. I felt like the stormtroopers getting ambushed by the Ewoks.

How many times do you go into your kid’s rooms and come out with $10? In change. Did it.

Unfortunately, I still had to go under Riley’s bed. And she’s the pack rat. The other two just collect and discard so much stuff it accumulates without anybody noticing. Kinda like the federal government and income taxes.

Anyway, Rye has a reason for why she’s kept everything in her room. She even knows where it all is located. So I need to keep detailed records of what I’m moving and where I found it. If I don’t I’ll end up like like Brain in Escape from New York crossing the 69th Street bridge. I think we own all the Barbie clothes. All of them. Certainly all the shoes. Wish I could sell this stuff.

I finally get it all into manageable piles and move it into the garage. Now I have to start sorting stuff. Which is boring. Naturally I need some music. Jeff Rock IV featuring summertime anthems like Winger’s “Can’t Get Enough” and White Lion’s “Wait” should help out. Plus I get to break out the old air guitar.

Seriously, how in the hell did we accumulate so many clothes size 0-6 months?

I wander into the house a few times to get a pop. Flip on the TV. Hey, The Guns of Navarone is on. If they remade this, guys like Gregory Peck and David Niven would never get the parts.

Back out to the garage. More sorting. Boring.

Back into the house. Hey VH1 Classic is playing “Poison – Live, Raw and Uncut.” Sweet.

So today I’m spending more time in the garage. Most dudes are happy about that because they are either restoring an old Mustang or building a display table for their new plasma TV. Not me. I’m figuring out which play dresses are too stained and disfigured and which aren’t. Woo Hoo.

Published in: on June 20, 2008 at 10:27 am  Leave a Comment  

Super Glue

Quick, think of all the things you never expected to hear.

Well last night I’m getting dinner ready for the girls. Polish sausage and hot dogs on the grill. Mmm… Anyway, I’m filling cups with milk, getting the ketchup out, cutting up the sausages, etc. They come to the table and start eating. I’m getting my own plate ready when I hear Kinsey from the bathroom.

“Dad, c’mere, I have to tell you something.”

Usually when I hear this it is from Bailey and she’s had some sort of mishap in the bathroom. But this time it’s Kinsey.

“What do you need Kinz?”

“You have to come here, I need to ask you something.”

“Okay, what is the big deal?”

“I have super glue on my teeth.”

“What? How the heck did you do that?”

“I had the super glue tube in my mouth and it got on my teeth.”

Sure enough I look over at her plate and right next to it is a small tube of super glue with a tiny puncture near the cap.

So now we have new dinner rule at our house – no adhesives on the table.

Published in: on June 17, 2008 at 2:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Father’s Day

Mom and the girls got me the coolest card. Ever. If this card was a hair band, it would be Poison. If this card was a dunk contest, it would be the ’88 dunk off between Jordan and Dominique. If this card was James Bond, it would be Sean Connery.


I’m brushing my teeth Sunday morning and Mom and the girls say “Happy Father’s Day” and give me a couple cards. One has Homer Simpson on the front and says “Woo Hoo! It’s beertvsnacks day!”

The other would change my card expectations forever. Mom hands me the card and says it is really cool. I open up the envelope and the front says, “You know why they don’t have Father’s Day during football season?”

I then open the card, my curiousness getting the better of me.

Boom. The most glorious theme song ever composed suddenly fills the bathroom with a pulse-quickening melody familiar to anyone whose parents allowed them to stay up for an extra 15 minutes during the crisp autumn evenings of the 1970’s.

The theme from ABC’s Monday Night Football. It was like Frank, Don and Howard were right there. For just a second, I thought Howard was going to run through the Halftime Highlights.

The card is sitting on my night stand. I probably opened it 30 times just to hear the song. Anyway, the inside read, “Because Dad’s would explode from too much excitement!” Which is probably true. Either that or we’d have outrageous expectations for Father’s Day.

Aside from the card, we did have a good Father’s Day weekend. Saturday we took the girls to see Kung Fu Panda. The girls thought it was great. Riley was laughing so hard at one point, the people in front of us were laughing at Rye laughing at the movie. While it’s not up there with the first Shrek, or The Incredibles or even Alvin and the Chipmunks, it was enjoyable enough.

Anyway, Jack Black utters one of the great lines in animated movie history.


Being a dude, I like to quote movies. And there’s nothing cooler than quoting movies with your three daughters.

Then on Father’s Day Mom bought me a combo birthday/Father’s Day gift. A new camera. I’m figuring out all the buttons, knobs and options with the three girls literally hanging off my shoulders, legs, etc. I get a little annoyed and tell them to give me a little room while I figure out the camera.

“Hey can we take some pictures with the new camera?”

“I want to figure it out first, all right girls.”

“But you’re the most awesomest Dad in the world. It’s true.”

“Yeah Dad, you’re the most awesomest Dad on the face of the country!”

“So can we take some pictures now?”

I’m sure the girls will get better at the whole “let’s flatter Dad so he lets us do something deal,” but it was nice effort. And it’s good for me to be able to file this away so when the girls reach 16 and they’re trying to flatter me into using the car, I’ll have built up a high tolerance. Along with a nice supply of GPS tracking devices.

Published in: on June 16, 2008 at 10:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Day Five

Watching the girls take in a Tom & Jerry DVD is like watching Buddy the Elf make snow angels and talk about the four major food groups. Seriously. Who is happiest person you know? Give that person some caffeine, some sugar packets and an adrenaline booster and that’s how happy the girls are about watching Tom & Jerry. It even makes them better sisters. Kinsey fell asleep on the couch and Bailey got up from her spot on the couch, grabbed a blanket and laid it on Kinsey. She told me she did it because Kinsey might be cold.

I let them watch TV on the couch past their bedtime because Mom called and she’s coming home early. Woo Hoo! There will be no Day Six.

Of course that meant I had to load them into my car while they were sleeping and drive to the airport to pick up Mom. And it went surprisingly smooth. They didn’t wake up during the transfer, they slept all the way there in the car and we pulled right up to the curb to pick up Mom. That meant we avoided the paying the parking fees that have risen to Massachusetts-like levels.

I stop the car, jump out to grab Mom’s luggage and the girls all sort of wake up a little bit and give Mom a kiss. As we drive away, it was like they realized that there were two of us again and and because of that they didn’t need to be as good anymore. Kinsey starts stirring, Bailey starts kicking and whining about how her blanket isn’t covering her feet and Riley keeps pushing her legs into the back of my seat.

Ah…back to normal…

Published in: on June 13, 2008 at 9:30 am  Leave a Comment  

Day Four

The girls have been pretty good all week, except for a couple hours on Sunday afternoon, and I thought it would be fun if we went out to dinner. I like going to dinner and so do they. I told them they had to all agree on a place and that’s where we’d go eat. I didn’t mention that I held complete veto authority in reserve should they pick Dairy Queen or the Kum & Go on the corner.

They picked Red Robin.

I have to admit that it had me a little concerned for two reasons. First, Red Robin has those balloons hanging there as soon as you walk in the door. And as every parent knows, balloons somehow contain a magic elixir only effective in children. It causes severe jumping and flailing of the extremities and an inability to eat any of the food sitting in front of them. Second, they have Diet Coke instead of Diet Pepsi. And Dad loves Diet Pepsi.

I tell the girls its time to go and to get out to the car while I find my wallet, keys and phone. Riley and Kinsey run out to the car. Bailey runs up the stairs.

“Bailey let’s go. What are you doing?”

“I’m going poop.”

“You had to wait until the exact moment when I asked you to get in the car to go to the bathroom?”

“Well, that’s when it was ready.”

“Right. See you in the car.”

I go out to the car and Riley is having Kinsey time her on how long it takes her to say “I like apples” five times.

Three seconds. That’s pretty fast.

Bailey finally joins us and we’re off. We navigate the balloon challenge, take our seats, order our food and start coloring.

Riley asks, “hey Dad who has bigger eyes, me or Kinsey?”

“What? Why?”

“Hey look at my eyes guys.” Bailey is opening her eyes as far as physically possible. It was only for a second but I’m pretty sure I could see inside her skull.

Rye and Kinsey ordered corn dogs and Rye asks if corn dogs are a state fair food.

“Yeah, in fact they are the state fair food. They’ll give you anything on a stick at the fair. Corn dog, chicken, ho-ho’s, giant stick of butter, catfish…you name it.”

Food arrives. You know how you get three little girls to finish their corn dogs and chicken fingers? You threaten them with the “lettuce sandwich.” Red Robin puts this big green leafy piece of lettuce in all their baskets. The girls for some reason believe lettuce taints anything it touches because it is a grown up food. Anyway, Bailey was suffering some malfunctions in her chicken fingers to mouth delivery system. So I rolled up four pieces of the green leafy lettuce and said, “Whoever doesn’t finish their food has to take bite of the lettuce sandwich.” I took a big bite and the girls recoiled in horror.

But Kinsey left bite marks on her corn dog stick and Bailey had the chicken finger in her mouth so fast it was sticking out on both sides. She looked like a ‘gator with a fish.

So I have a new weapon in my arsenal – the lettuce sandwich.

Published in: on June 11, 2008 at 10:44 pm  Leave a Comment  

Day Three

Fire trucks are cool. It doesn’t matter how old you get, they are still cool. There are ladder trucks, pumper trucks, command vehicles, and rescue vehicles like the one Johnny Gage and Roy DeSoto drove for Station 51 in Emergency! back in the 70’s.

However, they cease to be cool when you are on your way home from the gym and you turn onto your street to see three pumper trucks, a ladder truck, two rescue/command vehicles and two more fire department suburbans. Not to mention three police cars, two ambulances and an animal control unit. All the lights flashing. And some of them appear to be near your house.

Their coolness even further dissipates when Mom’s cousin is at the house watching the girls for a couple hours so I can run errands and go to the gym.

Hmm…worry and doubt set in at this point. These feelings intensify when you have to park one street over and walk to your house because the largest of the fire trucks is parked directly in front of your house. Logic tells you that since the fire hydrant is located in front our your house that the big pumper truck should be there. But logic doesn’t always win the tug of war with anxiety when there are fire trucks and ambulances parked near your house and you’re not home with you kids.

Anyway, I park and exit my vehicle and immediately notice three things. 1) the girls are in the front yard hanging out with the neighbors so they must be fine, 2) Mom’s cousin is chatting up the neighbors getting the lowdown on the whole episode, 3) Something stinks. It’s sort of like that smoldering smoky smell you notice after rain puts out a campfire. It also kinda smells like Hillary’s chances to be VP.

I walk up to my neighbors and it is quickly explained to me that the guy three houses down from us has a charbroiled basement complete with new black accents above his basement windows.

Anyway, the girls think the whole thing is pretty cool. Our house is fine and they each are proudly displaying their recently acquired “Official Junior Fire Fighter” stickers. Yeah, there were so many fire trucks and fire fighters there that one guy actually had time to give out stickers to the kids and show them his truck.

Evidently there was absolutely nothing happening in our town tonight.

Published in: on June 10, 2008 at 10:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Day Two

We overslept. 47 minutes. But I planned ahead last night and had the girls pick out their clothes for today. Rye went the extra mile and picked out her clothes for the whole week including tying small color coordinated hair bands on the hangers for each day’s shirt. Nice.

All the girls needed to do was get dressed, brush teeth, brush hair, eat breakfast. The only potential pothole in the scenario was me doing the girls’ hair. That even went smoothly. Of course I did Bailey’s hair in a “low pony” and while she liked it, I’m not sure Mom would have let her out of the house.

We’re downstairs eating breakfast and the girls are having an interesting conversation.

Kinsey: “Hey what if we had five cats?”

Bailey: “Whoa, that’s a lot of cats. Daddy would never let us do that. He doesn’t want to take care of anything else.”

Me: “That’s right Bails, good job listening.”

Kinsey: “If we had five cats I would name them: China, May…um…”

Bailey: “NOODLES!”

Kinsey: “Okay…China, May, Noodles, Creepy and Grizzly.”

Riley: “What is your favorite? Mine is Grizzly.”

Kinsey: “Me too.”

Bailey: “I like Noodles!”

I look up and not much breakfast has been consumed. I tell them we’re already a little late and we need to get moving.

Kinsey: “Dad watch this. I can eat my waffle really, really fast.”

Me: “Okay, let me see…wow…geez, that was pretty fast.”

Kinsey: “Yeah it was easy peezy chunk and cheesy.”

Chunk and Cheesy? What?

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 10:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

Day One

Mom’s plane left at 1:15 today. Sunday. She’s due back Friday around 7 p.m. This is the week its just me and the girls. I didn’t even really have time to ease into it. Mom worked most of the day on Saturday and I had to take all three to gymnastics. No big deal except only Rye and Kinsey had gymnastics so I needed to keep Bailey in check for 90 minutes. Luckily the gymnastics building has a large upper floor that allows the parents to watch and siblings to run aimlessly about without injuring themselves or others. The place smells like something like a foot. A sweaty foot. Anyway, I managed that situation by having Bailey, and Kinsey when her class finished, do sets of push-ups, sit-ups and windsprints interrupted only by some coloring. Only problem is that while I’m tiring them out in the short term, I’m making them stronger and better conditioned for future Dad Aggravations.

Anyway, we drop Mom at the airport without any problem. Then it takes us about 20 minutes to get to a birthday party for one of Rye’s friends at one of those places with the big inflatable slides and jumpy things. We have to wait about 10 minutes for everybody to arrive. Which is enough time for Kinsey and Bailey to crank it up. If they run around a little bit, no big deal. They’re kids and we’re in a kid place with other kids. Except they go from some harmless running to climbing, jumping and grabbing the gumball machine with both hands and shaking it violently.

“What the heck you guys? Is there a secret stash of sugar packets in the backseat of the car I don’t know about?”

I get them out to the car, give them a quick talk about listening and appropriate behavior and its off to the grocery store. I know this is a gamble. But I don’t really have a choice. We don’t have any milk, dish washer soap or razors. The girls will riot without milk, I’m not doing the dishes by hand all week and I don’t have the hair to pull off the Don Johnson stubble.

We get to the grocery store and the girls jump into the cart that looks like a fire engine. I explain that if they are good the whole time they’ll be able to finish watching Scooby Doo Meets the Boo Brothers when we get home. This is one of the Scooby movies that featured Scrappy at the expense of Fred, Daphne and Velma. It’s really a travesty. It’s hard to even consider it in the same collection of the other Scooby movies.

Anyway, it turns out the ol’ fire truck cart is not quite big enough for a 6 year old and an almost 5 year old. Kinsey looked like Kevin McHale taking out Kurt Rambis in Game 4 of the ’84 finals with the elbows she was throwing. We actually made it through the store fairly quickly and aside from the girls hanging out the sides of the fire truck like it was the General Lee, it wasn’t a bad visit to the grocery store. We’ve had worse. One time Bailey hung her arm too far out of the cart and took out about 13 cans of creamed corn.

But then came the checkout lane. The girls “helped” me get the food out of the cart. I had already explained to them that they needed to stay next to me, refrain from swinging on the bars separating the checkout lanes and not fight with each other. Well, they managed to stay next to me. But Bailey morphed into Mary Lou Retton and was swinging like a monkey on crack on the bars and Kinsey was removing and smelling nearly all the candy and gum on the rack next to us.

“Dad can we get this? Can we get this? What about this? We’ve never had this?”

I ignore the looks from the other store patrons, suppress all the sarcastic one-liners building up and pay the checkout kid. I grab both girls with the patented hand-under-the-arm-pit-kid-drag maneuver and walk them out to the car. Quick explanation about how they didn’t listen and how they are going up to their room as soon as we get home. No movie.


We get home and they march up to their room. Suddenly something becomes very obvious. This isn’t punishment. They share a room. In 30 seconds they’ll be playing with Polly Pockets and trying on all their shoes.

“Bailey you stay in here, Kinsey you’re going into Riley’s room. Nobody leaves until I come get you.”


I unpack the groceries and go back up to check on them. They are both asleep. Cool. I take the time to read about last nights Pirates-Diamondbacks game and play a little Call of Duty 2. About halfway across the English Channel in my British Lancaster bomber, I realize it’s time to go pick up Rye. Which means I have to wake up the girls.

“C’mon girls, we have to go pick up Rye.”


Can’t wait for the rest of the week.

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 12:50 am  Leave a Comment