Babypalooza

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The wife had mentioned something called Babypalooza, and we were going to it. Saturday. Don’t forget. So I promptly forgot until a few days later when the wife mentioned it again. Babypalooza. Saturday.

Again, I didn’t really think much of it, except that it kind of stuck. Babypalooza. Babypalooza. What the hell is this thing she’s dragging me to? Oh well, whatever it is, it sounded kind of fun. Maybe not FUN fun, but neat. A neat word, at the very least.

I overheard that word again when she was talking to her mom on the phone about it. Something we’re going to and taking the baby. Saturday. Babypalooza.

It sounded like something that should involve trampolines and elephant rides. I started to feel excited about it. Maybe not EXCITED excited, but looking forward. Like maybe there was going to be free food.

“You’ll get to meet the moms in my mom group,” the wife said at dinner.

That sounded, well, not as fun as watching a fire-breathing Reptar riding a stuntbike while I shoved endless boxes of Cracker Jacks in my mouth. Never mind that I don’t even like Cracker Jacks. The thing is, I want to like Cracker Jacks. They taste so much better in the fantasy in my mind. But yeah, meeting the moms, that’s cool, too.

“And you’ll get to meet Brian’s bros. That’s what I call his friends in the group…”

She started naming his friends—I mean bros. And his girlfriends. Maybe there would be raffle prizes, prize wheels, and a dunking booth. They should totally have that at Babypalooza, if they don’t already. They should hire me as their consultant, if they want anyone to even come to this thing.

Babypalooza should have a ferris wheel, a petting farm with goats, a lazy river, a corn maze, a slushee stand, clowns, tacos, facepainting, apple cider, kettlecorn, and over one thousand ideas for crafts with beans and pipe cleaners, since moms are into that kind of thing.

“And Mr. Harrison might be there, too,” the wife went on. “Isn’t that funny? His mom always puts Mr. in front of his name when she says it.”

“That’s cute,” I said. Mr. Harrison and maybe a zipline, too.

So by Friday night, I was pretty pumped about it.

“I’m kind of looking forward to this Babypalooza thing tomorrow,” I said.

“Oh no,” she said, her voice full of dread.

My hopes instantly began to fade. She knows me too well.

“Whatever you’re picturing in your mind about Babypalooza, downgrade it by one hundred,” she said.

Okay. I’d get rid of the lazy river. But I was too stubborn to let her kill my hopes and dreams. I’d still be excited about this.

Except what she really meant was downgrade it by a thousand. There was no ferris wheel. There was however, a few tables set up with pamphlets about family activities provided in the county. There was no fire-breathing Reptar. There was however, a bored-looking man running the CPR class sign-up. There was no petting zoo. There was however, the wife’s OBGYN practice giving away free pens. There wasn’t even free food. There was however, samples of lactation cookies.

There wasn’t even MR. HARRISON. THEY DIDN’T COME. I mean, whatever, like I care, BUT COME ON.

But I’m still stubborn about this, determined to take something—anything away from this. I’m just going to write all my letters with my free OBGYN pen from now on. I don’t even write letters, but I’m going to start.

Today’s Post Will Have No Words

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New Ones All The Time

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For the last two nights, I’ve had the same dream where I don’t have enough credits to graduate from college. Somehow after all this time, I realize I’ve completely forgotten to take math and science courses, and now I’m not going to be able to graduate. And the thing about the dream is it has been really intense — nightmarish even. I’m so OH MY GOD FREAKING OUT I’M NEVER GRADUATING in the dream, and when I wake up, it’s pure relief that the last ten years have passed.

Ten years. Yes, I did, in fact, still graduate ten years ago. Phew. I graduated when I was twenty-three years old. I felt old then, but I was dramatic then, too. I was on the six-year plan, as I used to joke somewhat sheepishly. I deferred life — not out of anything exciting like partying — not even out of anything significant like fear or insecurity. Mostly I just deferred it because of laziness. It’s not that I was afraid to approach the unknown. It’s just that I was in no rush to approach it.

The other weird thing is, yesterday, while at Best Buy, they had issued me a store credit on a “Congrats Grad” gift card. That was one thing, but then the cashier who later rang me up made a big deal about it.

“Are you graduating?!” she asked in a bubbly manner.

“Nope, that’s just the card they gave me,” I muttered, thinking it odd that a usually drone-like Best Buy employee was being so friendly.

“Oh. I was going to congratulate you,” she said. She even seemed disappointed about it.

What is the universe trying to tell me?

I pondered this for a while last night, after awaking from the second dream. I walked over to the crib and picked up my nine-week-old son. I carried him back to the bed with me, where he promptly projectile spit-up on himself, me, and the bed. Then the dog, who previously couldn’t have been roused, a three-hundred pound dormant bear, suddenly jumped up to obsessively lick the spit-up off my pillow. Lovely.

In the ten years since college, I got married. We bought a house. I’m having these nightmares about not having enough math credits to graduate. Imagine if I’d never decided to go out on the night I met my wife. That’s the thing I should be having nightmares about — scenarios where I stayed in to watch television instead.

My mom died. There was a dream I had where I just wanted to show my mom a picture of my son. I was so desperate to show her. I wanted to see her reaction so badly, but I didn’t have a picture to show her. No use pondering that dream. It seems pretty straightforward.

We had a kid. I no longer approach the unknown. I live there, teetering on its very precipice.

I look at him. His tiny, smiley lips are surrounded by his fat cheeks, regurgitated milk, and spit bubbles. The spit bubbles are a new thing he’s doing. This is my life now. I used up all my life-deferring credits on this little guy. They say the average cost of raising a child is $241,080. But after you cash in all your life-deferring credits and start living real life, you actually come out a little ahead.

The dog, satisfied with her work, nestled back into the comforter. I put Fat Messy Man Mouth back in his crib. That’s my nickname for him this week. He has new ones all the time. Like days, like dreams, there are new ones all the time.

Win These Voltron Shirts

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Since I literally haven’t left the house in eight weeks, have absolutely nothing to write about, and seriously considered writing a post in which I reviewed the contents of my refrigerator, let’s do another giveaway. It’s easy. You leave a comment. I choose someone at random. You win BOTH of these Voltron shirts.

The comment topic is: What is in your refrigerator?

I’ll go first.

Quarter-used jar of banana pepper rings. Despair level: 3. They’re still maintaining their bright colors well.

Unopened mustard. Despair level: 0. Mustard can be ominously old and despairing, but this one was purchased just last week.

Four other jars of opened mustard. Despair level: 10. Because ominous.

1 Week Old Hummus, somewhat eaten. Despair level: 4. It’s healthy, well-intentioned, and very much nearing the end of its natural shelf life.

Pack of String Cheese: Despair level: 0. Personally, I’m living off of cheese these days.

Jar of Half-Used Spaghetti Sauce: Despair level: 10. Unknown dates. It’s at that state of congealment where it looked like it made a last-ditch effort to climb out of the jar before succumbing to the back of the fridge FOREVER.

3 stalks of Celery: Despair level: 1. They’re a little past that cheerful bright green color, but the wife will tell you they’re still perfectly fine to consume. Think I’ll go for the string cheese.

Mayonnaise. Despair level: Unknown. Ehh, I’m sketched out, but it’s another one of those things the wife insists is always perfectly fine to consume.

Juice Boxes: Despair level 0 or 10, depending on if you think I’m too old to be drinking juice boxes.

Carton of Orange Juice with that one awful sip left. Despair level: 8. Ugh. That sip that’s always left at the bottom, thick, pulpy, and partially frozen, is the worst. THE WORST.

One sickening pound of pre-cut squares of cheese platter from Costco. Despair level 10. Because it’s weeks old and evidence that no single human being can eat two pounds worth of cheese platter before it expires. But God knows I tried.

Really Disgusting Looking Bottle of Homemade Salad Dressing. Despair level: 300. I just want to throw the whole thing out and cut the losses over the reusable tupperware it’s in. At this point, the mysterious, glistening liquid looks as though it might have become sentient and smile back at me if I were to open the lid in any fashion.

Okay, now tell me, what’s in yours? Feel free to give as little or as much detail as you want. Name one thing or name everything. A week from today, September 10th, I will pick a winner and email you. You win both shirts courtesy of tvstoreonline.com, which carry a cool selection of pop-culture related shirts and novelties.

Babyland

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Greetings from Babyland. Life’s a beach. If that beach was your house that you puttered around all afternoon until arriving at the point at which you could get ready to leave said house. Ninety minutes of getting ready ensue, culminating in the baby barfing on himself.

Change baby.

He poops.

Change baby.

Hurry, grab the car seat and strap him in there before he eliminates something out of some other orifice.

Drag selves, baby to the grandparents house, where fusses, eats, barfs, poops again, and has approximately nineteen and a half minutes of radiating, addicting, pleasantness where everyone will fall completely in love with him.

If I was really filling out a postcard, I would have ran out of room a long time ago. On postcards you’re only supposed to write that the weather is great. The weather is great, somewhere.

As you can tell, there just hasn’t been much mental capacity left for me to do any writing. Not even to tell you that I’ve purchased some Lunchables Uploaded, which is apparently a superior version of Lunchables. How it is superior I do not know yet, but I will report soon.

Still, I care about this blog, you the reader, and the fate of humanity in general. So I wanted to post something.

I recently found this gem at the thrift store:

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Oh yes. The Chuck-E-Cheese Pizza Factory. Everything sealed and minty on the inside. Part of me wants to keep it, but I’ll probably sell it. (Contact me if you desperately need this is your life.)

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It comes with pizza dough, cheese, and pizza sauce to make little pizzas. This toy is 20+ years old. Have you ever wondered what 20-year old pizza sauce looks like?

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It looks like that.

There must be a ton of these sitting in a warehouse somewhere, because someone is selling them on Amazon, where there also happens to be the world’s most depressing review of the item:

“The pizza products was so old the special sauce was black and hard, the flower wouldn’t even fold together and the cheese was breakable.”

It’s depressing because that black-plague-looking pizza sauce didn’t ward off this person from opening the flour/flower and cheese packets. You’d think some primitive instinct would have kicked in screaming POISON, STOMACH FLU BAD, DISEMBOWELMENT, but no — this person trooped onward and opened up the flour/flower and cheese packets AND TRIED TO USE THEM. When life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. When life hands you Satan’s black crusted body fluids, you try to make pizza out of it anyway.

However, there’s a happy ending to this story. The review goes on to say “Other than that the oven was a winner with the kids after we purchased more products to make pizza!”