Poofles for Breakfast

It is really difficult to get under DJ’s skin. I mean her sisters and I get on her nerves on a frequent basis, but nothing really fazes her. She just sort of rolls her eyes and rolls with the punches; a lot like her mother.

I so long to really irritate her. Not always, but on occasion. It gives me such pleasure.

The other day though, I thought I had.

For years we’ve exchanged fake plastic poop with my brother’s family. I’m not sure who originally purchased it, probably that difficult niece of mine – the one who froze all of my boxers at the beach last summer.

You might find the poo in your suitcase when you return from the family beach trip. Or, it might be wrapped in a Bailey’s box for Christmas. Imagine the disappointment my sister-in-law felt when she anticipated a Pandora bracelet from me and instead discovered plastic poop underneath the white and gold striped tissue paper!

Our only issue seems to be that we misplace our family poo from time to time. No one on my branch of the family really knew where it was this year so when DJ found some at a new store called Five and Below (cheap-cheap), she tossed it in her bag and brought the prize home.

“This will be perfect for Cam (my nephew).” DJ and I agreed that he could use a good dose of doo!

We gently set it on the desk in the kitchen so nothing would happen to it before the holidays. I’m sure guests in our house during the month of December were a bit alarmed.

“Is Danny having health issues?” I could hear my Sunday School class members discussing on the way home from our Christmas party. “I noticed he messed on his kitchen desk. Raising these girls has really been tough on him.”

On the Monday before Christmas, the girls enjoyed sleeping in on their first real day of vacation. I, being the caring father that I am, surprised them with waffles when they awoke at 11. Michelle and Stephanie were downstairs first. DJ seemed to be struggling to get out of bed.

As I finished her golden Bisquick creation, I eyeballed Cam’s gift.

Hmmmm. Might as well use it twice, I thought to myself.

I set the waffle on her plate and headed to the desk. I gently placed the poop in the middle of her meal anticipating her disgust, perhaps even a screech!

photo (2)

“DJ, your breakfast is getting cold. Better hurry.” I was giddy with anticipation.

She sauntered down the stairs after her shower and headed toward the bar. She gently lifted the poop off the plate, and began to pour her syrup. Hardly a blink.

If I found poop on my breakfast, I think I’d at least turn up my nose.

Not my child. It’s as if I served feces as a side on a regular basis.

I so want to annoy her. Any suggestions?

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Sunday Post 124: On-the-job Training

This is it.  We got up early so we could beat the line at the Jacksonville, NC, DMV.  DJ turned 16 while we were no vacation, and we couldn’t wait two more days to get back to Raleigh.  So, this morning we drove 45 minutes to the nearest town to see if she could take the test that will push her toward total independence.

The kid in line before us slinked out of the glass room with his head down low.

“I failed,” he told his dad.  “The guy said I drove 33 in a 55 mile per hour zone.  I actually went too slow.”

Dear God above, please let DJ go too slow too.  Please, please.

I assume He can perform miracles, but DJ driving slowly may even be beyond His capabilities.

She returned from the road test with a Cheshire Cat grin on her face.  I knew my fate.

When we returned to the beach house, she announced she would be driving her sisters to lunch in Surf City, 20 minutes away.

“I’m hungry too,” I pleaded.

“We’ll bring you some back.”

My parting words were:  “I want all of my children back here, in one piece!”

“I’m with her,” Stephanie assured me.  “She won’t do anything crazy with me in the car.”

I didn’t feel any better.

Now they are gone, and I am here – alone.  I put my phone by my chair and turned the sound up high, just in case they need me.

Damn, this is sort of scary.  I think she’s a pretty cautious driver, but she’s young and inexperienced.  Oh, and the woman in line behind us at the DMV who was excited she was finally getting the breathalizer off her ignition is presumable back on the road this afternoon.

I can’t help but ponder the hours we’ve spent in my car together.  There were the Barney years in the minivan.  I could sing every word to every one of that purple dinosaur’s tunes.  There was the first time she weighed enough to sit in the front seat.  And three years ago when I was thrown into the role of primary carpooler for the Tanner family.

Although a relief to know I’ll no longer speed through town working to pick up all three girls at the exact same hour, I surely will miss our conversations.  We’ve wept, shared our dreams and yelled at the top of our voices in that car.  But mainly, we’ve laughed – laughed and laughed and laughed.

Somehow those gray leather seats bring out the best in us.  The ability to divulge our inner most thoughts made so much easier when sitting side-by-side.  I think it’s the lack of eye contact.

This whole growing up stuff is going to take some getting used to.  I fear that DJ isn’t the only one in this house who is figuring out how to become an adult.  There’s a 47-year-old who’s also getting some on-the-job grown up training right now.

The Daddy Errand

On my way out the door last night to help a friend clean his father’s house out, I got a call from upstairs, “Dad, I need some femine products.  Can you pick some up at the store on your way home?”

Geeeze.  I hate that.  Why do I have to be the Tampon Taxi?  We were all at Target last weekend, right near that department, and no one mentioned a shortage.  Why weren’t we proactive?  Someone should have mentioned the shortage!

It’s one thing to buy that stuff with a cart full of other items.  But going in just for that?  Man.

That night, I discovered that there are six hundred options on the female aisle.  One of them can even make you fly!  Seriously, it has wings.  I started to buy a pack of those for myself, thought I’d tape them to my back and jump off the porch. I bet that’s what Peter Pan used.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have enough cash.

There were the “all night longers”, the “breezy while you workers” and I think I saw a “start your day at schooler”.  They came in the shape of a U, an L, a T and a B.  I challenged the woman next to me to a game of Scrabble.  She didn’t take me up on it.  She could probably sense my affinity for words.

There were liners and pads and full on insulation.  I think it’s the same stuff that’s lining the walls of my attic – they call it Tyvek.

A couple had aloe and one had vitamin E.  Who needs a multi-vitamin with those in the house?

I could have started a band:  one clicked, another snapped – there was one with a toot and a pad-da-pat-pat.

Some came in “bold colorful styles” …

Why?

The reason I’m so educated on this subject is because I read each of the names and several of the labels when I phoned home for product clarification. It took three conversations to complete this daddy errand.

At least I’ve passed the point of embarrassment at purchasing these items.  I just tossed them on the counter, asked if they happen to be on sale, and smiled at the lady like all four boxes were for me.

Indeed they were buy one box get the second half price.  Now you’re speaking my language.

(P.S. – I specifically asked my daughters if I could write about this adventure.  The general sentiment seemed to be: We don’t care.  You were the dork walking through the drug store, not us.)

Animals? Grandchildren? Ahhh!!!

Posted by Danny

It hit me this past week.  I am going to have to raise my grandchildren.

We were at the beach which means an annual argument about purchasing Hermit crabs.

I’m not sure if other families have this issue; I sense it’s only us. I believe it is a genetic condition. My oldest niece started it about 15 years ago. I have her to thank.

When we go to the coast, we eat seafood in Calabash, NC. It’s where my grandfather took us. At times we’re staying two hours away from Dockside Seafood Restaurant – doesn’t matter, my father insists that’s where we go.

“It’s good food and it’s a great price.”

All true. Although if you’re driving three vehicles 240 miles each, I question if there is true savings.

On the corner near the restaurant is an enormous nic nac shop. On the porch is a cage, maybe four feet square in width and four feet tall. It is packed with Hermit crabs. Their shells have all been painted by a local “artist”. There are flowers, Picasso type designs, even Spiderman Hermit Crab – so very, very tempting.

Although we have two at home who survived the past 12 months, according to my kids it is imperative that we have more.

“We are NOT getting more crabs,” I insist. “What joy do they bring? You don’t like them in your room because they are loud at night – so they take up prime real estate on the bathroom counter. You don’t play with them – in fact, all they do is sleep. When their cage starts smelling like crustacean poo, who cleans it out? That would be me. No — No. No. No.”

“But dad…”

“You never take care of your animals. Why don’t you play with the ones you have?”

Although DJ didn’t pushing for one this year, she pointed out that her crab immediately changed shells when she got him home last year. “He left the flower designed shell I picked out and moved to the ugliest shell we had – I didn’t like him after that.”

He was probably a dude and embarrassed to be stuck in a tulip.  I wouldn’t want to live in a house with a garden painted across the front door.

I then began to toss out all of the animal failures the Tanner’s had endured:  “What about your hamster Stephanie. You never played with her.”

Miss Piggy bit! Would you play with something that draws blood on a regular basis?”

“What about the guinea pig? No one played with him.”

“If you recall, I didn’t want a guinea pig. I wanted a hamster. Mom made me get JW. Therefore, we never connected.”

That’s when it hit me.  I suddenly had the realization that I was going to have to raise my grandchildren. If my kids found fault in their child, they would simply turn its well-being over to me.

Panic grabbed my chest. I felt the car closing in.

“AAAAhhhh! What if you treat your children like you do your pets? I am not going to raise your kids. I can’t do it.”

I could see it clear as day:

“DJ, where’s my grandson?”

“Oh, well you know dad, we really wanted a girl. I guess he’s still up in his room; haven’t checked in a few days.”

Or

“Stephanie, what’s that smell?”

“I’m not changing diapers, that’s gross.”

Or

“Michelle, is that your baby screaming?”

“That’s her – but she bites.  We don’t pick her up anymore.”

I don’t know if I can do it.  I mean I’ll be 15, maybe 20 years older than I am now.  I may not have the energy.  I’m supposed to be through with diapers. 

Oh Lord – give me strength.

Sunday Post 57: Gourds in the Glad bag

Posted by Danny

I occasionally teach my adult Sunday School class.  We study the bible trying to understand the historical times as well as trying to figure out what it can mean for us today.  By far, my favorite verse to teach was written by the apostle Paul and is in the book of Colossians:  “Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord.”

When that verse would appear in a lesson, I would read it slowly, awaiting my wife’s reaction.  She’d grab the sides of her skirt, cross her arms and shift in her chair.  I knew I was treading on thin ice.

Some of the men in class might have wanted to believe this verse was the true desire of God, but our wives wouldn’t let us.  Lisa had a great many talents but submission was not one of them.

As much as I enjoyed sparring back and forth with the women in the class about God wanting them to submit to their husbands, I did not want that in a wife and that is not what I want for my girls. 

Perhaps it’s because I have never seen that exemplified in my family.

We called one of my grandmothers Idee (her name was Ivy).  She did not submit!

One day she came home from work and my grandfather had her housekeeper, Ophelia, out hoeing in his garden.  Idee was not happy.

“Spurgeon!  If you ever come in my house and tell Ophelia to dig in that damn garden, I’ll have your head.  You need a farm hand?  You go find your own!”

The next day he dropped off a crop of squash on Idee’s kitchen counter which he’d grown himself (well, with a little help from Ophelia).  Idee opened the lid of the trashcan and with one swoop of her arm across the formica counter deposited the 12 yellow gourds into the Glad bag.

“Take my maid outside to hoe and then drop these damn dirty vegetables on my counter.  You bring any more of this %$&# in here and I’ll…”  She finished the sentence under her breath.  I intently looked down at The Florence Morning News as if I didn’t hear.

Papa didn’t get mad.  He just laughed it off.  Plus, I think he was scared of her.

Someone recently told me, “Your mother is the sweetest lady.”

Well, she’s sweet, but she’s not the sweetest.  Let’s just say she sometimes has opinions and obviously her mother, Ivy, didn’t set a great example of demure.

Yes – my girls are surrounded by strong women.  Lisa’s sister has a PhD from John’s Hopkins and a MD from Harvard.  She’s going to save the continent of Africa from AIDS.  And the only thing my mother-in-law has ever submitted to was a mandatory drug test upon hire in the local school system (she passed).

My dream for my girls is not for them to submit, in marriage or career, but rather to be confident and sure of what they want and need.  And if any guy thinks he’s gonna come in and find a Tanner girl willing to cater to his every whim, he might get a rude awakening.  Thus far, I see glimpses of thoughtfulness but not a lot of surrender.

Good luck fellas.

Weird Free for Forty Days

Posted by Danny

I’m not opposed to Lent, I’ve just never particpated.  Although my current church suggests we give something up, I was raised Baptist.  They give stuff up all the time – there’s nothing left to give when spring rolls around.  Plus, forty days is a really long time.  I might could handle a week. 

That’s why I find it interesting that my daughters always seem to get excited about doing without something during this season.

Last night, DJ and Stephanie made decisions about what they were going to give up.  DJ decided that Facebook was important to her so she would do without it until Easter.  That’s a pretty big sacrifice for her.  Although I cautioned Stephanie, she choose to give up her i-touch.  She just received it for Christmas and she really, really enjoys playing the games.  I fear she is quickly going to fall off the wagon, just as she did last year with chocolate and the year before with chewing gum.  But she’s getting older.  Maybe she will make it this time.

On the way to school  today, the girls asked me what I was giving up for Lent.  I pondered and suggested some things that clearly weren’t going to affect me this season:  kissing girls, cutting my fingernails (I bite only  when necessary), painting the house.  They balked at my list.  I then went with the absurd:  showers, underwear, doing their laundry.  Again, no takers. 

That’s when they began to offer ideas about my sacrifice.  DJ suggested I give up wine.

“That ain’t happening.”

Stephanie piped in with coffee.

“You’re going to get punished for suggesting that.”

Then DJ came up with what she thought was a perfect compromise for all, “Dad, why don’t you stop being weird for Lent?”

“That shouldn’t be a problem.  But I get to decide what is weird and what is not.”

“No way.  If you do something that we think is weird, you have to call one of your dad friends and ask him if he would do it.  If he says yes, it’s not weird.  If he says no, then it’s weird and you lose.”

They acuse me all of the time of doing stuff that they are certain other father’s would not do:  my particular dance moves – I don’t think are unusual; speaking in an undeciferable language and expecting them to respond – I’m sure all of the dads do that; throwing wet sponges at them when they run through the kitchen – a normal family activity for most.  But I decided to go along.  So until Easter, I cannot be “weird.”

I did take it upon myself to explain Fat Tuesday to them as we drove to school.  To celebrate, I opened all of the car windows and began yelling farm animal noises as we drove throughout the the neighborhoods:  “bock bock becock”, a long loud “mooooo”, my doberman pinscher impression.  They thought that was funny, until we neared the carpool line.  That’s when I opened the sunroof and started singing:

Little Bunny Foo Foo hopping through the forrest

scooping up the field mice and bopping them on the head.

But, I couldn’t drive and keep DJ from closing the roof.  So as we neared drop off, I turned the radio on to a station that was playing hymns.  How Great Thou Art was beautiful and I knew all the words.   I opened the window and sang along.

I’m not sure if the kids had fun or if I just completely humiliated them.  Either way, I guess we’ll have no more of that for the next forty days.  Sure hope I  can make it!

Gotta Go Right Now!

Posted by Danny Tanner

Why do girls pee in their pants?

I’m not using names, but hypothetically, we could have had an incident at Boston Logan airport today.  And it could have been caused by extreme laughter.  If laughing makes you pee, it’s a wonder my kids aren’t leaking all over the United States.

This isn’t the first time.  Lisa used to get so mad at me when I’d tickle the girls hard enough to make them pee.  That wasn’t my goal, and there was absolutely no forewarning.  Lisa would say she could have seen it coming.  How?  I saw nor heard anything that would have clued me in to that possibility.  Once they passed the stage where they grabbed their crotch at the first inkling of a “gotta go” moment, I lost my ability to tune in to the foreshadowing of this event.

I don’t really understand this phenomenon.  If I need to pee, I feel it coming.  I stop all action and move toward the nearest bathroom in a rapid manner.  Sometimes it feels like I’ve cut it close, but I think it would take a lot of water or a number of pitchers of beer to make me wet myself. 

I also don’t remember peeing in my pants as a kid.  I don’t remember my brother peeing in his pants as a kid nor any of our friends.  Jesse has never peed his pants in my presence.  Why does this happen to girls?  Is it like a champagne bottle?  The cork pops and it just starts pouring out?

Many years ago I remember a group of women from work going on a retreat to the beach for the weekend.  Apparently they were walking down the beach in the edge of the water.  One sweet, sweet lady suddenly stepped into a hole.  It startled her and she got tickled and immediately peed in her pants.  This would not happen to a guy.  We might pull our pants down and tinkle in the ocean, but I assure you it would be intentional.

The first time one of our girls wet her pants at an age old enough to know better, Lisa told me it was quite normal for women.  She recalled a friend from college returning home to the ADPi house mid-date one time with her coat tied around her waist.  When Lisa asked her why she had returned home so early, she said she was cold and wanted to put something warmer on – that was the story in front of her the fraternity boy she was courting.  I guess you’d be cold too in November with a soaking wet lap.

I’m trying to become more in tune with my feminine side so I can better relate to the girls.  When I get off this plane, I’m going to go home and try to pee in my pants.  Maybe then I’ll understand.

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