Our Delta kitchen faucet has been dripping for weeks..er, months. Each drip is the resounding echo of money going down the drain. It is also environmentally irresponsible. Our fix was to put a sponge under the drip so the sink would quit imitating a bass drum. I dreaded replacing the washers but finally decided to do it only to find that mineralization had frozen the screw which holds the hand to the faucet so tightly that I thought I’d break the handle getting it off. I soaked it in vinegar for days and, eventually, it broke free. That’s when I discovered you cannot replace the washers. Delta uses a cartridge which you can from Amazon for $20 or HomeDepot for $25ish. When I went to HomeDepot, the kind salesperson suggested that I contact Delta because they warranty these things. Sure enough, I called Delta today and in under 3 minutes a free replacement cartridge is on its way. In 7-10 days, our drip will be repaired. I cannot believe I put this repair off so long!
I’ve jumped the shark.
Me: “Do we have an Xbox one?”
Noah, 20 years old, flatly: “No.”
Me: "Who threw clothes on the stairs? I need to strangle a child."
My 14 year old daughter: "I’ll be right down!"
Me, to myself: "I don’t think she understood what I said."
Me: "Goddammit, quit stepping on the cats!"
(Probably not the most constructive statement in the moment)
After 16 years, I have finally figured out when I can and cannot ask my wife for a special dates. Data is beautiful!
Context: Evan, our 11 year old, helped me drop one of the cats off at the veterinarian for a comprehensive exam last Wednesday. Behind the scale is this sign. Recently, both our 12 year old and 9 year old German Shepherds died.
Evan, 11 years old, studies the sign: "Dad, I think our next dog should be a three, four, or five."
Me: "Evan, that’s not a menu."
Me: "Alexa, play the Ramones."
Groggy 11 year old Evan walks into the room: "Dad, could you turn down the music?"
Me: "What are you guys doing?"
I’m pretty sure as a child I wanted to be an architect (thank you Dad and Michael Brady), and maybe an astronaut, and definitely an entertainer; but NEVER do I recall saying, “Hey, I’d like to spend the better part of my adult life cleaning up pee and poo and other bodily fluids.”
My eldest son: "Dad, the mower won’t start."
Me: "I’ll take a look at it."
Cranks on first pull. I report back to my son, "Started on the first try."
My son with holier-than-thou indignity with a touch of anger and a dash of annoyance, "Well I’d sure like to know what you are doing different than me because I pulled that string for 10 minutes and it didn’t start."
Me: "I put gas in it."
The daily grind. People say such flippantly. But it wears on us. Grind. Dulling the edge. Like gears without oil. And our performance drops. Then our enthusiasm wanes. Leading to more stress. GRIND. Along comes motivation. Acceptance of the mistakes. A revitalization. But to escape the beatdown. You must work three times as hard. grind.
I am so loved by my family! And I so do not deserve it. They love me unconditionally. I have been weak recently. I have responded to my children and wife in anger this week. Each time was completely unnecessary. Stress is no excuse. Most recently we had a fire in the house. Amy burned a note her brother wrote a time ago. It had some ugliness in it she decided no one else should see so she burned it in a trash can filling the house with smoke. I was calm as I sought out the smell of fire. She was afraid and denied it being a fire. I said, “that is a fire” to which she replied, “no it is not a fire.” I was flabbergasted and lost my temper. I brought tears instead of taking the opportunity to teach. The fire was controlled. We could have observed it. Discussed it. But alas, I yelled. Words and shouts in anger are no different than using hands for hitting. I regrouped and asked that we open all the windows. Two remained closed and when I asked Amy to open them she back talked and my anger resurfaced. Oh teenage girls…so difficult.
I was just treated to an early Father’s Day. My family is terrific! I am so undeserving of their love. I vow to be a better father to them. A better provider. And a kinder soul. To my family, I love you!
Tommy: "You were typing on my keyboard the other night weren’t you?"
Me: “Yes, I just wanted to try it out. I’m thinking about buying one.”
Tommy: “The guys in my forum got a good laugh out of that.”
Me: “Oh, your monitors were off but your computer was still on wasn’t it?”
Tommy: “Yup. You typed your initials and part of your name. Then ‘This would be a good keyboard for programming.’ and some random characters. I told them ‘Oh, that was just my dad playing on the keyboard.’ They got a good laugh out of it.”
- I’ve become THAT dad.
- it is time to change that password.
Today is beautifully sunny. Apparently the children have a dental appointment in 2 hours (on Memorial Day?!). I’m at the computer programming and feeling guilty that I’m not spending time with the children.
This time the carburetor rebuild worked…damn.
Me: "Do you want steak for dinner?"
Boy child: "Do we have barbecue sauce?"
Me: "Ok, sirloin for you."