Sleeping with the Sprites

We have a lot of Barbies. A LOT. We also have a Glamour Jet, a Glamour Camper, a late model Ford Mustang and a couple 2 seaters of which I’m not real clear on their make and model. Additionally, we have an impressive amount of furniture and appliances and enough clothes that we could probably start our own Barbie Consignment Store.

Playing barbies keeps the girls in the basement and away from us. Although it does sometime put them at each other’s throats. But that’s how they learn negotiating and conflict resolution skills. The only real problem we have, other than providing enough storage space for the barbies and their stuff, is the girls consistently cleaning the “houses” they build for their barbies. When things aren’t going well in the barbie neighborhood its usually pretty evident as we can hear the disputes through the floor vents. The only thing that sometimes is a bit disconcerting is when Bailey is down there alone playing…and a conflict arises. Evidently in the make-believe world that Bails constructs among her barbies is a plethora neighborhood quarrles. The barbies clash over outfit coordination skills and even break out full in debate over the use of the Glamour Camper. Can’t really tell if the Camper is owned by a single barbie or it’s a time-share. Little hazy on that.

There is also the fact that sometimes the Liv Dolls either show up uninvited or they move into the neighborhood. Kinda like Husker fans. Or Obama volunteers. Turns out the Liv Dolls and the barbies are kinda like Mr. Roper and Jack Tripper. Can they get along? Sure. Do they get along? Not all the time.

Anyway, recently there appears to have been a disagreement that got out of hand.

Yes, that is a picture of a barbie in the basement fridge. She’s sleeping with Sprite cans as it were. No word on possible involvement of the Liv Dolls. Background checks haven’t been made public as far as I know.

Early speculation is focused on the boy barbies. Now we only have three barbie dolls that are boys. None of them own black suits, fedoras or Thompson submachine guns. None of them are named Sonny, Big Paulie, Skinny Joey, Petey Boxcars or Jimmy “Two Fingers” Malone. But one of them literally no longer has his head. So I’m not saying..but I’m just saying…

What exactly the barbie on ice did or said has not been determined by local barbie law enforcement. But its still unclear if Five-O is cahooting with undesirables in the barbie underworld. So that may never be determined.

The ugly underbelly of barbie society sometimes shows itself in unfortunate ways. No suspects yet. Well as least as far as I know. But none of the barbies are really talking…

Published in: on September 19, 2012 at 9:06 pm  Comments (1)  
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Nicknames

We’ve now made it through three of the four weekends for fall softball. Although we’ve been practicing a few times a week since the last week in July. No games this weekend and then we come back the following weekend for the championship double elimination cage match tournament of death! Kidding. It’s really just a double elimination tournament. And the girls are all 10 and under so its not even really softball 100% of the time. Sometimes its whining. Often its parents telling the girls that, no, they are not allowed to have hot dogs in the dugout.

Anyway, Kinsey’s team sits at 6-6. And in all truthfulness its just as amazing how much they’ve improved since the first practice as it is to get to know the little nuances in all their personalities. We have one girl who barely says a word. She’s the quiet assassin as she’s a pretty good hitter. Then we have three girls, including Kinsey, who simply don’t stop blabbing the entire time they are on the bench. Only ten year old girls can have a non-stop conversation about softball, ketchup and wasps.

We had defcon 1 emergency at one of the games when a wasp made the unfortunate decision to land inside the dugout. The wasp, I’m sure, simply noticed all the black and orange in their uniforms and thought this might be a weird new field of flowers. But the presence of the winged insect caused the girls to scatter. Or at least as much as ten girls can when they are limited by the chain link fence around the bench. But the dust cloud either disoriented the wasp or covered it with so much that the increased load on the wings prevented it from getting airborne. Which of course made it a sitting duck. Especially in a dugout full of girls armed with bats and helmets. So scratch one wasp.

Anyway, they played last weekend. As you undoubtedly already know Saturday was the Iowa State-Iowa game and Sunday was NFL kickoff weekend. Normally this would cause any normal Dad a bit of consternation. Watch the Cyclones and Steelers…or watch your daughter’s softball game.

My decision, however, was clear.

Mom and I went to Iowa State-Iowa game. Totally worth it too. Go State! Jake Knott is a draft pick next spring. What? She’ll have more softball games. In fact, she had three more on Sunday…NFL kickoff weekend. But as luck would have it, the Steelers opened the season Sunday night at Denver. So good news/bad news I guess. We missed most of the NFL games on Sunday but we saw Kinz play three games. My fantasy team won but the Steelers defense is still too slow to cover anybody and I wouldn’t have minded missing that. For the love of God! Somebody freaking cover Demaryius Thomas!

While we were at Iowa State’s 2nd victory in row against Iowa, Kinz got to spend the day at a teammate’s house who also is a good buddy of hers. When we finally made it home and asked how her game went, all we got was a shoulder shrug…but she couldn’t stop talking about how much fun she had at her friend’s house.

But I have a tough decision coming up if Kinsey’s team makes it to the championship game on the 23rd. Championship game is scheduled for 4 p.m. Steelers-Raiders starts at 3:15 p.m. And, well, I’m all about old school 70’s rivalries…so I hope Kinz does well.

Anyway, Kinsey really does love softball. I think she likes practices more than games because she gets to do more. Games can be a lot of standing around if the pitcher is having trouble throwing strikes. The best part of the games is listening to her coach come up with nicknames for the girls. Last Sunday we had Key West, Dragon, Kee-dog, G-Money, Animal, Hot Dog, Molly Mac and Bob Seger. The girl nicknamed Hot Dog actually showed up at the first practice and announced, “Hi, my name’s Lauren…but I prefer Hot Dog.”

Yeah, so Hot Dog it is I guess.

Nomads and Sludge

I’m a bathroom nomad. A bathroom transient. A drifter. I wander between our second floor bathrooms. My stuff has ceased to have a home. So it just kinda floats based on availability. So far this is working. What I need is a small bucket or container to just keep my stuff in so I can just carry it with me to whichever bathroom has space and/or availability. I had a container like this back in college and it worked pretty well.

I saw this coming but I wasn’t really quite able to visualize exactly how it would play out. I knew eventually the girls would spend more time in the bathroom taking what had previously been my time. Kinda like the Obama administration and my money.

Anyway, I am developing what is essentially an evolving morning routine. Thankfully Riley is completely done in the bathroom before I need it. She has to be at her bus stop by 6:45. She’s up by 5:30 and since she has no competition for mirror time or counter space, she’s done in the kid’s bathroom before I need it and before Kinsey and Bailey are up. This is a stroke of good fortune. Score one unpredicted success story for the school district planners. This schedule should maintain its delicate balance of power through next school year too.

My system, if timed correctly, allows me to take a shower without anyone inside the master bathroom with me. Not Mom, not anyone. This may not seem like a big deal. It is. Being able to get out of the shower and dry yourself off without a parade of people going into and out of the bathroom looking for hair brushes, curling irons, toothpaste and q-tips is like finding that one nacho with perfect proportions of cheese, black beans and jalapenos. Rare and satisfying.

I do however have one sequence when I need to be opportunistic in order to use the sink. Brushing my teeth is really just me walking back and forth down the hall between bathrooms waiting for an opening. Then, when the aforementioned opening presents itself, I strike the speed and ferocity of Earl Campbell meeting Isaiah Robertson in September of ’78. I have to lower my head and plow through.

Shaving takes a little bit of cooperation and persuasion on my part. Not to mention an ever repeating conversation I have with Kinsey and Bailey.

“Dad, does shaving hurt? What does the shaving cream do? Why do you always miss spots? Why do you have whiskers on your face?”

But if I can patiently make it through these questions, I usually can get myself some room in front of mirror and access to the sink. I nearly always am sharing space with Bails and Kinz. Hopefully its just one of them but if its both we’re working on perfecting a rotating positional sequence that takes precision and timing not seen Billy Sims was toting the rock for OU’s wishbone offense in the late 70’s. One thing that has become apparent as the girls have gotten older is that our plumbing can’t keep up with the amount of crud that is going into the bathtub/shower drain and sink drain.

I called Roto-Rooter a few weeks ago because it had just become ridiculous to the point of the bathtub simply not draining. It was like being in a sub made of tile that was hit with a soap torpedo. The grossness that came out of the sink drain was disturbing. So maybe you already knew this but all the stuff that gets washed into the sink drain essentially turns into sludge. A really, really gross smelly swamp-like blob of muck. Roto-Rooter guy gets done and says, “hey how many kids do you have?”

“Three girls with long hair.”

“Yeah, you might just want to put me on a retainer because I’ll be back.”

Good news is that he showed me a couple tricks that should keep the tub drain from clogging. Turns out that most of problems with slow drains are caused by hair. Girls inherited Mom’s hair. Which means its pretty damn thick and has the tensile strength of Spiderman’s webs. Seriously. I mean it literally adheres itself to the drain walls while weaving an indestructible web of blond fibers that can stop water. And bullets. Maybe light sabers. Possibly Wolverine’s adamantium claws.

But its weakness is the 18 inch plastic drain snake available at most home improvement stores or on Amazon. The catch is that you can’t be afraid of what you’ll pull out of the drain with the snake. Sure the hair looks beautiful on your daughter’s heads. Not so much when its wetter and smellier than Rambo when he emerges from that mine shaft in First Blood.

The 18 inch plastic drain snake, while simple and rather ingenious, much like my chipmunk trap mentioned a few posts earlier, is not without its own Achilles heel.

It’s plastic and not manufactured for extended use. You only get a few drain declogs out of it. But the tub drain is actually draining. So that’s a win.