New Year’s Quotes, New Year’s Resolutions and Black Eyed Peas

May 2011 be the year we all get it right.

Much of it good, like selling my business and discovering Caroline was pregnant again. Some was not so good, like the death of my sister. Life is a collection of such watershed moments. And as one year draws to a close, we look to the next one with hope—hope that it will go better, hope that we’ll navigate all of our watershed moments more effectively than we did this past year.

The hangover of the holiday season is the perfect time for such reflection, the perfect time to come up with a game plan. And I’ve almost come up with mine. But to help me along, I first read what others had to say about the changing of the years.

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image: MorgueFile

Christmas Music After Christmas: Okay Through New Year’s Day?

What about Frosty the Snowman? Is that one okay?

So one of my boys comes up to me yesterday as I’m taking down the tree, (That’s right…it’s already down. We tend to get on stuff like that.) and he’s got this big frown on his face. “It’s sad when Christmas is over,” he announced in a defeated little voice. No argument there. I get a melancholy feeling every single year on December 26. In fact, I was in the throws of it the very moment Jack made his poignant observation.

There are countless thoughts and actions that go behind Christmas. So much energy lovingly poured into it. Then BOOM. It’s over. Just like that. Gone. That’s why we get the tree down so soon. Christmas is over, and the tree is just a painful reminder of that fact. So out it must go. Same thing with all the decorations.

But what about the music? Must it go? Or is it okay to play Christmas music this week?

I’ve always been of the mind frame that once Christmas has passed, all Christmas music must cease. My wife, however, thinks it’s okay to play Christmas music through the new year. Here’s the funny thing: she could care less whether or not Christmas music is playing. But me, on the other hand? The one who has over 24 hours of Christmas music on his iPod? The one who makes certain that soft yuletide harmonies are continuously piped into all of the speaker zones within our house starting the moment Thanksgiving dinner has concluded? I love Christmas music.

So it’s odd, no? That the one who loves the music has a “zero tolerance” policy toward playing it after Christmas while the one who doesn’t give a rip if it’s playing or not would be a-okay if it were doing just that?

“It is sad when Christmas is over.” I said back to my little boy. “And it’s even sadder because we can’t play Christmas music.”

“Here we go again,” said wife with a roll of her eyes. (Now might be a good time to mention that every December 26, I lament the fact that Christmas music is forbidden. About 30 times.) ”Every year we have this mindless debate about whether or not we can play Christmas music after Christmas. And every year, I say it’s fine, but you insist it’s not. Then you go on to obsess over it’s absence, bringing it up repeatedly.”

“Honey,” I protested…

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Image: stock.xchng

Twas the Night Before Christmas 2010

Twas the night before Christmas, and here at our house,
Our children were stirring, yet nary a mouse.
For what kind of mouse would be living with us?
The kind who would grumble and mumble and cuss.

The screaming, it starts at the drop of a hat.
It’s quite hard to handle—for even a rat.
Lovie and me are both trying our best.
We can’t restore order. We never get rest.

Such is the case when your triplets are 3.
Of course, they are cute (because, they look like me).
But they bring a clamor to all that they do.
Whenever they’re playing, our house is a zoo.

Our Monster is brash—and he throws quite a fit.
Though after he naps, he’ll quietly sit.
He’ll hug you and snuggle and bust out a smile,
Then leave you and raise holy Hell for a while.

He’s fussy and hyper and kinda mischievous
But good out in public so folks don’t believe us
Whenever we tell them that he’s hard to take.
“Who him?” they will ask us. “Why, he’s sweet as cake.”

Monster, post nap.

Then there is Peanut, who’s really quite loud.
She often runs naked. (We’re both really proud.)
She’s bossy and funny and messy but neat,
Demands to watch Dora from Lovie’s backseat.

Me and Peanut.

Oddly we’ll often just do as she squeals.
Something ‘bout oil and a loud squeaky wheel.
But we’re good with Peanut and all her demands,
‘Cuase we’ve got our Biggs, and he likes to hold hands.

He’s snuggly and quiet—he plays all alone.
With either his train or his red mobile phone.
But that doesn’t mean that our boy wouldn’t spar.
You’d better not touch even one of his cars.

I wasn't kidding about the cars.

Seriously. Not a joke.

Because if you do, he’ll scream awfully loud.
While Monster is busily bouncing around.
And Peanut is shouting ‘bout this or ‘bout that.
And Briggs, our brown dog, is harassing a cat.

Thank goodness for Pookie, she helps us stay calm.
She’s truly a beauty—takes after her mom.
She’s thoughtful and playful and does well in school.
She’s loves to shoot baskets and swim in the pool.

It’s hard to believe that she’s already 9.
Though not my “real” daughter, she sure feels like mine.
I’ve loved her to pieces since she was just 3.
And much like the triplets, she’s precious to me.


Although they are precious, we weren’t planning more.
We’re really quite good with our posse of four.
But add even one and we’d prob’ly go nuts.
That’s what we thought before Dunkin Donuts.

‘Cause that’s where we learned that my Lovie was preggo.
News that was greeted with “No. No. No. No. No.”
Eventually, though, we would both come around.
And then from our hearts, much joy would abound.

My heart that is joyful has also a hole
Because of my sister and her gentle soul.
Although she did well in her fight once again,
The cancer’s the one who would win in the end.

Her battle was epic, and this past July
All of the experts had said she would die.
And though in a coma for 9 days she stayed,
She somehow would answer the prayers that we prayed.

My sister was able to come back to life.
And showed us much beauty through all of her strife.
And though she would leave us just three months from then,
She lives in that hole in our hearts now, my friend.

The joy of the season makes room for the sad.
My sister’s in Heaven right now with my Dad.
And though we all miss them and wish they were here,
Their heavenly Christmas, it fills me with tears.

But isn’t that just what this season’s about?
Feeling the ties that unite us throughout.
Christmas with fam’ly, both here and above.
I think that Christmastime’s all about love.

And so this is how I will finish my rhyme.
With love that has humbled me time after time.
The love that’s He’s woven throughout my whole life.
The love that He’s growing inside of my wife.

We’ve so much to live for, each one of us do.
Perhaps to write poems like this one to you.
Or simply to hold our beloved so tight.
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Here’s a little slideshow from my family to yours. I hope everyone has a wonderful holiday season.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

Snowman photo: stock.xchnge

My Late Father

Me and my parents a month or two before Dad died.

I was recently asked if I wanted to contribute to a series called “Thanks, Dad,” over at ManOfTheHouse. I jumped at the opportunity, even though I knew that in many ways, the exercise would prove to be a difficult and emotional one.

I was wrong. It wasn’t difficult. But I was also right, as it proved to be an extremely emotional endeavor. That said, I’m so glad I wrote it. I was happier still to share it with Mom on Thanksgiving Day. It was invigorating to feel Dad’s spirit as we sat around the table.

I hope you’ll take time to read it. I think you’ll like it. It may even spark some memories of someone you love who’s no longer with us. If it does, I hope you’ll share some of those memories with me via a comment. After all, it’s the holiday season. And there’s no better time than now to reflect upon the people we love.

Here it is:

*  *  *

Early one morning in 2002, my brother picked me up from the airport and drove me to the hospital to see my dad. He had been unresponsive since the afternoon before. His rapid turn for the worse was what had prompted the previous night’s phone calls urging me to catch a cross-country flight – if I ever wanted to see him alive again.

The second I walked into his room, I was devastated. So that’s what it looks like, I thought, with equal amounts of fear and awe. It was dehumanizing. Which made sense to me. What was happening to Dad is what sets our spirit free. And our spirit isn’t human.

I sensed that though he was still with us, he was gone nonetheless. But I was wrong. Dad came back to us later that very day. Shortly after he regained consciousness, he told Mom something she’ll never forget.

“I died last night, Martha Lee.”

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It’s the Holidays — What Were You Expecting?

Wait, what?

It was Sunday, November 7, the first day of daylight savings time, and I was fired up about the extra hour. In fact, I stretched it to two by sleeping til 8 as opposed to my regular 7. True to form, Lovie did no such thing. By the time I stumbled into the kitchen, the tiny trio were already finished with their breakfast and out of their highchairs, roaming about like diminutive tyrants as my industrious wife cleaned their royal carnage. The sweet scent of syrup told me it was pancakes the monarchs had devoured.

I felt like such a deadbeat for not being a part of the culinary efforts that I offered to assume full responsibility for two-thirds of our toddlers. With Pookie at her dad’s house, that would leave my wife just one child with which to contend. And one child? That’s a flat-out layup.

Biggs wanted to stay with Mommy, so I corralled Monster and Peanut and took them upstairs to the playroom where, by complete coincidence, there happened to be a television tuned to ESPN, thereby allowing me to preview all the day’s upcoming football contests. In front of said TV sits a blue couch — an extremely comfortable blue couch.

The table was set for some good ol’ fashioned multi-tasking via a controversial but effective supervisory technique known as sleep-parenting. I, um, read about it. In a book. Or magazine. Somewhere.

Anyway, there I was, minding my own business, sleep-parenting on the comfy blue couch in the bonus room with Monster and Peanut playing contently nearby (and quietly—which is critical for sleep-parenting), when Biggs stumbled in with the phone.

“Call Mommy.”

I quickly dialed her cell, concerned that my often misinterpreted sleep-parenting was about to be called under attack (yet again).

“Hello,” she said from the kitchen.

“What’s up, babe? You need something?” I asked, in my best wide-awake voice.

“I’ve been obsessing over something that I have to tell you about.”

“What’s that, honey?”

“I think I’m pregnant.”

Holy shit.


“I think I’m pregnant.”

Holy, holy, holy shit. As in the very most holy of shits — I’m talking Mahatma-Gandhi-type fecal matter, here. Okay, stay cool. Obviously a false alarm.

“What? Why do you think that? Are you late or something?” I asked, suddenly no longer worried about my voice. I was confident that it was far from sleepy-sounding.

“No. I’m not supposed to start until next week.”


“Stop worrying, then. I’m sure we’re good.”

“I don’t know,” she countered before continuing with my boobs, this and my body, that.

“Well what do you wanna do about it?” I asked.

“Take a pregnancy test,” she answered.

“HELL no,” I replied. “That’s WAY too much drama for a Sunday. I am NOT signing up for that.”

Twenty minutes later, my candy-ass was double parked in a blue handicapped zone outside of Walgreens while Lovie was busily be-bopping along the family-planning aisle. Only the three screaming toddlers in the backseat reminded me that we were planning no such thing. Neither one of us wanted to have another child.

“Sorry,” Lovie said as she got back in the car. “Couldn’t find it right away.”

“Did you take it?” I asked.

“Are you crazy?” she answered. “I’m not taking a pregnancy test inside of a drug store. I’ll wait til we get home.”

“No you won’t,” I answered. “You’re taking it now!”

“What? You’re the one who didn’t even wanna do it today to begin with.”

“True,” I began. “But since you overruled me, I’m all about finding out as soon as possible. So, chop-chop, Pooh Bear. Where do you wanna take your test?”

“You’re getting coffee, right?” she said.

“You’re gonna rock a pregnancy test at Dunkin Donuts?” I asked.

“What’s wrong with Dunkin Donuts? There’s usually a line for the drive-through. I can take care of business while you’re waiting.”

Which is exactly what my beautiful wife did. And it timed out perfectly. Just as we were pulling away from the pick-up window, she was walking out the door. And by the time the dust settled, I wound up with a large coffee (cream and sugar), a bagful of glazed donut holes, and…

and a fifth child.

In what can best be described as complete role reversal, for once, the triplets were quiet as church mice, kindly leaving the crying to Lovie and me, which we did as quietly as we could, stealing quick glances at one another and holding hands above the center consul, our soft sobs occasionally interrupting the sing-songy banter of Dora and Diego.

Another baby.

Onesies. Baby gates. Johnny Jump-Ups. Bodreaux’s Butt Paste. Those velcro things that attach to and dangle from the car seat handle.

Another baby.

Boppy pillows. Blankets. Diapers. Bottles. Burp cloths.

Another baby.

Gliders. Bouncy seats. Vaseline. Baby Bjorns. Rattles. Exersaucers. Those plastic, squeezy bugger-extracting dealies I’ve never seen anyone use.

Another baby.

Holy shit.

Eventually we pulled it together and went to a different Walgreens, one where we had understood we could get an actual blood test. But the pharmacist said we were misinformed. They had no such test there. She did, however, look at our pregnancy test and confirmed what we had suspected. It appeared as if Lovie was, indeed, pregnant. False negatives, she explained, happen from time to time, but false positives were exceedingly rare.

Three hours earlier I had walked into the kitchen feeling guilty for oversleeping. That moment, I was stumbling through a drugstore in a literal state of shock, watching silently as Lovie compared two different brands of prenatal vitamins.

Unplanned child number five. The one we thought was impossible to have. The one we thought could have only come about with the assistance of fertility treatments. The one our calendars say will arrive just in time for our 42nd birthdays. The one that…

Holy shit. What if there’s more than one?

The first ultrasound’s next Tuesday. I’ll make sure to provide y’all with regular updates as this is sure to be a wild ride. But I can promise you one thing. Lovie, Pookie, Monster, Biggs, Peanut, Briggs (our dog), and me? We’re up for it.

We’re good like that.


Photo: MorgueFile

Cam Newton, His Dad and Their Disaster

Cam Newton is head and shoulders above everyone else.

Anyone who knows me knows knows that I’m a huge sports fan—college football in particular. This season has been an especially exciting one thanks in part to one player’s extraordinary play.

Sadly, a story which surrounds that very athlete has put the season in jeopardy. At least it has for me it has. The player is Cam Newton, and at the center of his story is a man who should be keeping his son out of these types of situations rather than dragging him into them.

That man is his dad. I wrote about my take on the allegations involving Cecil Newton over at Babble. It’s one of the better pieces I’ve written for them. I hope you’ll check it out by visiting Babble.

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Indian Summer

It’s a beautiful fall day in Ktown. Unseasonably warm. Isn’t that called an Indian Summer?

Unfortunately, I have bronchitis and feel like shiz. So I’m in bed. But don’t feel sorry for me. Feel sorry for Lovie. She’s knee deep in kiddos right now and she’s not happy about it. I don’t blame her.

Anyway, since there’s an Indian Summer going down today, it seemed like the perfect time to create a photo album of summertime pics. These were taken by a woman named Beth whom we met in Hilton Head. I’ve also got some great shots of all four of our kids from the fall. I’ll try to get those up soon…In the meanwhile, check these out.

Created with Admarket’s flickrSLiDR.

The Audacity of Amazon: The Pedophiles Guide to Love and Pleasure

It's flat-out deplorable.

Dear Amazon,

I’m not sure where to being. After all, I’m a big freedom of speech guy. By and large, I find any sort of censorship to be a bad idea. But not as bad of an idea as the one you made to allow Phillip R. Greaves 2nd to distribute his reprehensible book, The Pedophile’s Guide to Love and Pleasure, electronically via Kindle on your website.

But what about my passion for allowing freedom of speech, you ask? Good question. You see, the world seldom offers you just one viewpoint. When I argue for freedom of speech, I’m arguing as a citizen for a citizen. But I’m not always acting in the capacity of a citizen. Let me explain.

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Stability is Overrated

If you flap long and hard enough, your wings will eventually take you to where you were always meant to be.

When I was 32, I took a flight to LaGuardia, caught a car service up to Connecticut, waltzed into my boss’ office, and told him I was quitting. Just over a year removed from winning the coveted Reach the Peak award — the highest honor my company gave out for “sales excellence” — I was the victim of an early midlife crisis. My boss, who I’ve remained in contact with to this day, was taken aback.

He assumed that I was going to a competitor, with the help of a slick-talking recruiter, of course. They made a living off of guys like me, essentially stealing us from one company before offering us to another, from which, of course, they’d hope to again snatch us as soon as enough time had passed.

I used to get calls from those clowns all the time. And, sure, I went on a few interviews — even got a couple of offers — one of them from Fidelity Investments. It was a hard gig to pass up, but when push came to shove, I did just that. It seemed so…pointless. Calling on the exact same people, wearing the exact same tailored suits, but hawking a different family of investments.

Part of the reason for my early midlife crisis was wrapped up in all of that — the notion that my white-collared compadres and I were little more than interchangeable parts. To me, there was no soul to what I was doing. I wanted more and I was aware of that for a long time. And I had finally gotten up enough courage to do something about it. Sure, prudence suggested that I find another gig before moving on, but I had saved up enough money to live off of for a year — maybe two. Plus, I’ve never really been all that into being prudent.

“What are you going to do?” my boss asked with a confused look on his face.

“Go to Jazz Fest and run the San Diego marathon,” I answered with a shrug. Beyond that, I hadn’t a clue.

Luckily, things worked out for me. I eventually landed in my hometown and wound up joining my sister-in-law in starting a blue-collar business that fabricates and installs granite countertops. But this June, after over seven years of being co-owner of that business, I found myself in a similar spot to where I’d been nearly a decade before.

Don’t get me wrong — I love the countertop company. And I’m proud of what we’ve accomplished. It’s an outstanding little shop. Conservatively run, with very low debt and profitable to boot. But like before, suddenly I wanted more. So in June, I told my business partner that I wanted out. Throughout the months that followed, we worked hard to reach a solution agreeable to us both. And now, it’s finally official.

Yesterday, I went to say goodbye to the fellas. And it was tough. Especially when I said goodbye to our shop foreman who’s been working for us for over six years. He looked me in the eye and thanked me for being what he described as the single biggest influence in his life over the past several years. He told me that he doubted if I even realized how much I had taught him. About life. And that he’d never forget it. Or me. We shared a long embrace before I finally pulled back, dried my tears with the back of my hand, and drove away from the company I helped build for the very last time.

But as hard as yesterday was, the most difficult part of the transition was the actual decision, itself. Primarily because of the eerie peace it brought me from the moment I made it. Paradoxical? Perhaps. But the utter ease with which I made such a big decision initially made me wonder if I could really trust it. The last go round? Getting the courage to quit had been an arduous process. And back then, as a single buffoon who was be-bopping his way through life, I had far fewer things about which to fret than I do now. So why, I wondered, was a similar decision actually easier this time? I pondered that question for 48 straight hours until I finally accepted that there was no answer.

Except faith.

So what, exactly, will I do? Well, I can’t go to Jazz Fest or run a marathon because of those damn triplets. And Pookie, too. Besides, I’m way too content with my family to leave them for any significant period of time. (note to Lovie — except when I go on my annual backpacking trips.) So, instead, I guess I’ll do what it is I wanna do most.

I’ll write.

Thankfully, I’ve got a lot going on. I’m working on a novel (fiction this time) and have even made a little leeway in trying to fool an agent into representing me. I’m also staying busy with the great opportunity that Babble was nice enough to give me. (Come visit me.) And soon, I’ll be regularly contributing to two other fantastic sites. Between the (modest) income from my writing and the little cash pop I received from selling my half of the company, I should be just fine for at least a year.

I’ll be the first to admit that my career path hasn’t exactly been a conventional one. I think it’s because I haven’t fit well in the spots I’ve landed. Strangely, in each of those spots, it looked to everyone around as if I fit just fine. But I’m less into the way things look and more into the way they feel. Not to mention the fact that I understand that not everything can be neatly tucked away inside tidy little boxes. And I’ve come to accept that I’m one of those things.

And that’s okay. Because there’s a spot for those things, too. It’s just harder to find. But if you try your best, the search rewards you with growth. Besides, I’d rather be looking wishing I had already found it, than stuck wishing I were brave enough to still be looking. And one of these days, I’m certain I’ll find my the perfect spot for me. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, I’m pretty sure I can see it from where I’m currently standing. It’s right over there.

I’m headed that way now.

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The Trail to Fatherhood

It's good to get your bearings.

Pssst — please google connect with me. Surely there are more than 8 of you out here. I’m gonna have to take that damn thing down unless a few more of your help a brother out.

Just because I spent the first weekend of October away from my family doesn’t mean that they weren’t on my mind. For I was on my annual Appalachian Trail trip. And whenever I’m backpacking, my thoughts are frequently with them.

In many ways, my time on “the Trail” serves as an excellent parenting metaphor. After all, it’s difficult. It takes lots of preparation. There are many ups and downs. It can often be thankless. Yet it’s also impossibly rewarding. And, at times, it seems never-ending.

On Sunday, as we inched closer to our awaiting car, I finally acknowledged what I hadn’t dared to in the previous two days — our trip was an utter success. Never before had one gone so smoothly. I think it had to do with our preparation. We were more organized than ever.

Take, for example, my “bag” system. There were five of them. The green one was my “utility” bag — rope, batteries, GPS, Flip video, fire-starters, lighter, duct tape, cell phone, and head lamp. The blue one was my “water bag” — water purification tablets, toothpaste, toothbrush, camping soap, aspirin, wipes, hand sanitizer, vaseline, aspirin, and first aid kit. I stuffed both of those bags inside a larger gray bag which also contained a towel, a backpack cover, and an ankle brace (just in case).

This important gray bag was at the very top of my pack which allowed me to access it in an instant’s notice. Beneath it lay my two other bags. Well, one of them was not a bag at all, but rather all of my clothing which was bundled up neatly by my light-weight Arcteryx wind/water shell. The other bag contained my food as well as my camping stove and fuel. Aside from my 20 degree Mountain Hardware sleeping bag (housed in the lower compartment of my backpack) and tent (strapped to the outside of my backpack), those highly compartmentalized bags were all I needed.

A mile or so from the car, it dawned on me. If only I could organize the tools I need as a parent as well as I had organized my backpacking tools, surely parenting would go smoother than ever before, too. This thought filled me with great hope, if not pride, as I imagined a day in the not-so-distant future when temper tantrums would cease to exist.

Why? Because I’d simply take off my backpack of fatherhood and pull out the gray bag. Inside it, my blue bag would be readily available. And inside it would lay reason, empathy and compassion. I’d pull out equal amounts of all three and intercept the would-be tantrum by communicating with my child like never before. He or she would look at me with a perfect mixture of awe and love before happily skipping off toward a pocket of unparalleled and serene happiness made possible only by my sage-like wisdom. Well, that and my sick-ass parent-tool organization, I suppose.

On the drive back home, I smiled from ear to ear as I envisioned the reception I was sure to receive. Lovie, Pookie, and the triplets would welcome home their virile Viking — the one who had summoned up the preposterous amounts of fortitude needed to brave the elements and conquer the wild — the one who had returned home not only in tact, but also armed with indispensable parenting knowledge he was astute enough to glean along the rugged way.

Honestly? I was half expecting a trophy.

And I got one. For as soon as I broke the threshold Lovie handed me a vertical figurine.

My trophy.

“What the hell is this?” I asked loudly to compete with the meltdown my arrival had interrupted

“A plunger,” answered Lovie equally as loud. “The triplets’ toilet is clogged. I need you to unclog it.”

None too pleased, I made my way up yet another incline — the stairs — my right hand ahold of the trophy. (If only it were my hiking stick.) Hey, not a problem, I thought. I’ll just open the gray bag, and then pull out the green one. For in it, I’m sure to find the patience I’ll need to get through this.

As ripe as I was from having been in the woods for three days, I was no match for the deplorable situation that awaited. The water in the bowl of the toilet was littered with an epic amount of toilet paper and was, for lack of a better description, a light shade of soupy brown. I would later find out that it had been, um, incubating for two days.

After 30 seconds of what can best be described as extreme plunging, I.. dry heaved (literally). But that was all I had accomplished. The clog remained. By this time, Monster had scurried up and was overseeing my plunging efforts. Unbeknownst to me, he must have engaged in one of his favorite pastimes — flushing. Or so I gathered when he ran out of the bathroom giggling just as the soupy brown mess began to rise.

Lucky for me, I pulled out some quick thinking (I keep it in the blue bag — which, after all, is my water bag) and immediately reached down to turn off the toilet’s water source so it wouldn’t overflow.

The handle broke off in my hand.

Undeterred, I lifted up the porcelain lid to the back of the commode and jimmied the ball upright so as to trick the tank into thinking it was full, thus stopping the flow of water. (See? Quick thinking.) But it was too late. For by then, the bathroom was covered in a quarter inch of the foulest of water that not even a year’s supply of my purification tablets could remedy.

It was at this time when Monster decided to come check on me again, heading my way via his signature hobbly, bouncy-hop, running deal, his eyes wide with excitement, his mouth slightly agape. “Monster, No!” I yelled as he drew closer, but it was to no avail. Into the bathroom he came, and as he did, he lost his footing on the slimy sludge and quickly resembled a cartoon character after a banana-peel-encounter — his body slipping out from under him, at one point a full twelve inches above the ground, perfectly parallel, mind you, before descending and ultimately landing with a splat on his back in the murky fecal water.

Sadly, my friends, I have nothing inside any of my parenting bags for such a scenario. And what’s more, no amount of organization could ever change that.

The next day, the plumber found the original cause of the problem. The triplets had flushed a pair of Peanut’s shorts down the toilet. They were pink.

We think.

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