Pessimistic Optimism

Life as I see it… sort of.

He Called His Shot(s)

The boy called his shot!  It’s a big deal.  I don’t think I ever called my shot… and actually delivered.  Besides that, it was a brave call.  He said there’d be six and there were.  This isn’t a story about a cocky four-year-old that goes around shooting his mouth off.  It’s about a kid that knows himself inside and out.


The kids behaved exceptionally well this past week so we decided to reward them with something a little out of the ordinary.  As per usual, they had no clue to where we headed off to Monday evening, but they didn’t think it would be fun when the Prius finally stopped in front of The Bon Ton.  If I didn’t know our actual destination I would’ve been bummed, too.

From ladies’ shoes, through Juniors, to fragrances, our daughter lamented about a stomachache or headache or toe ache.  My ears were turned off, so I’m not sure which it was.  She kept this up until we saw a boy twenty-five feet in the air.  We were at a bungee trampoline.

“I feel better,” shot out of our miraculously cured six-year-old’s mouth.

Both kids took advantage of this generous opportunity to get an edge on the competition for the U.S. freestyle ski team in the 2026 winter games in Miami.  Visions of the next Speedy Peterson danced through my head as they flipped and bounced and bounced and flipped endlessly.  Now they just need to learn to ski.

I got a little jealous watching them, but my big lunch tipped the scale too much to do the adult version.  My wife could’ve gone, but chose to keep her feet on the ground.  She must be afraid… or smart.

Dinner at Dave & Buster’s followed.  The extreme activity must’ve gotten things moving around in the boy’s stomach because right before my Boss Chicken Club arrived he rubbed his belly and stated that he needed to poop.  I looked at my wife with chagrin and downed my Corona Light.  She smiled and batted her baby blues.  We have an unwritten pact; the boy’s mine and the girl’s hers.

I reluctantly left the table and searched for the little boy’s room.  After passing by everything from ski-ball to frogger we saw the red neon ‘restrooms’ sign.  Just another 150 yards and we’d be in defecation heaven.

The toilet was just past the seventy-two urinals and it was clean… sort of.  I did the usual scrub down of the seat and had the pleasure of soaking my fingers in something wet under the seat and it wasn’t Palmolive.  This was an example of my carelessness at its best, now I’d probably have to wash my hands.

As per orders from my stomach I advised the boy that we were short on time and that this cut into our gaming and eating.  He pondered the situation and came up with a solution.

“I’ll just do six,” he said.

Guilt and panic set in.  “Don’t hurry yourself,” I said.  “Make sure you finish.”

“I’ll do six,” he said, “and I’ll hurry.”

The boy explained to me that the first one always hurts a little and groaned his way through it.

“That’s one.”

Another groan.  “That’s two.”

Groan again.  “That’s number three.”

He continued with this process until he said, “That’s six.”

“I’m done, Daddy.”

“Are you sure?” I asked.  “Make sure you’re done.”

“I said I’m done,” he said.

We wiped up and I counted the neatly dispensed nuggets.  There were six.  The little guy backed up his words with actions.  I felt like Babe Ruth’s dad at that moment, except a little more proud.  The Babe only called one shot; my son called six.

We made it back to the table with plenty of time left to devour our grub and shoot aliens and crash cars.

As a parent there are many times in life that your kids make you proud, like an “A” in math, a Nobel prize, or a really hot girlfriend, but this one takes the (urinal) cake.  That’s my boy!!!


March 5, 2010 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting | , | 2 Comments

… or Get Off the Pot

I admire my son’s dedication to not do what he doesn’t want to do.  There’s no hesitation on his part to commit fully to a mildly unpleasant task to avoid something else.

On many days the boy wakes up too early for my liking.  On my non-working mornings I’m a devoted sleeper and a four-year-old will not alter that.  Stop laughing, I mean it.  When he comes into my room and asks me, “Is it morning time?” I answer, “No,” put him back in his bed and like a good press secretary I tell him no questions.  I’m snoozing again before my greasy hair slides onto my ice-cold Firmapedic pillow.  End of story… not quite.

On weekdays my wife rises before the sun, so she’s awake and making herself even more beautiful in the powder room when the boy gets out of bed again.  He heads right to her because he knows I’ll be of no help to his needs and she’s much easier on his squinted little baby-grays.  During his face-to-face he informs her that he has to go poopie.  Despite her doubt of his sincerity and honesty she dutifully succumbs to his wishes and lets him hop on the throne.  Ignoring his request isn’t an option because both she and I have witnessed the end result of denying bathroom privileges to a child whom I thought had cried wolf.  It’s not a mistake you make more than once.

She gets back to the business of getting ready for another day in the rat race while he sits there mostly quietly.  Every couple of minutes he asks, “Is it morning time?”  She answers, “No,” and he continues to sit and wait.

Eventually I stroll out of the bedroom at a more reasonable hour.  He asks again, “Is it morning time, Mommy?”

This time she says, “Yes, it is.”

“I’m done,” he says and peels himself off of the toilet seat.

His wobbly little legs deliver him to the sink to wash his hands and he looks at me.  “It’s morning time, Daddy.”

My wife peeks in the bowl to discover that it’s… empty. This product of my procreation would rather sit on the pot for forty-five minutes than lay in bed for that amount of time.  The little guy had the foresight to crap where he sleeps a long time ago just to set this up.  Diabolical!  Hopefully he’ll someday use his over-sized brain for good or better yet, my gain.   


copyright Linus Mann 2009

November 7, 2009 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, stephen baldwin | , , | 5 Comments

Who’s In Bed With My Wife?

Fate tested me and I’m not sure if I passed.

Last night a screaming Mexican delayed my highly anticipated arrival in the boodwah.  I’m talking about enchiladas, not Hervé Villechaize *.  I won’t get into the details about how I spent my time, but it took a while and it cost me.  

After washing my hands, brushing my teeth and scraping my feet I ventured down the hallway to Shangri-la.  As I moved closer I could tell something was amiss.  The light from the TV didn’t peek out from under the door of the darkened hallway.  This could only mean one thing: my wife fell asleep or the satellite was down.  Either way, my entertainment for the evening was finished.

I quietly stepped on the squeaky floorboards making sure to hit everyone in its sweet spot hoping not to wake up the dog.  I reached out for the door handle and felt… air.  It was gone and so was the door.  My head rattled from side to side.  Something didn’t compute.  Was the door open?  Is this my house?  Is that freaking Mexican knocking at my back door, again?  The answers came to me quickly: yes; yes; and not yet.  I clumsily reached out into the void and found the door to be at an angle that confirmed my suspicions.  It was open.  I knew it.

I remained still for a moment to take in my zero visibility.  After about ten minutes I closed the door and stumbled toward the bed.  I feared for my toes because a laundry basket was in the midst somewhere in the room.  I’ve encountered its kind many times before and knew of the carnage that can result from one of my piggies entangling itself in the plastic netting.

I made it to the bed eventually.  The telltale sign being the mattress brushing against my thigh.  I made it!  It felt good to know that I can navigate so well in my dwelling.  Utter darkness was no match for me.  The following information is only being revealed because it is necessary for the reader to know.  I sleep on the outside of the bed.  Therefore, by default, my wife sleeps on the inside.

I reached out to make sure the covers were out of the way for me to crawl into bed and my world changed.  I touched a hand.  A hand very different from my wife’s.  It was a different size and not as hairy**.    The hand grasped mine and I froze.  I wanted to shout or run or cry, but instead I said, “What’s going on in here?”  There was silence in the room.  It seemed as though the infiltrator feared revealing its identity.  Then the words floated through the air like the mist from Niagara Falls on a breezy day; drenching me in a not completely unpleasant way.  “Hi, Daddy.”

To many of you this might be a regular occurrence, but it’s a first for my wife and I in our almost six years of parenting.  Our son just turned four and decided it was time to share our bed.  WTF was he thinking?  Well, I’ll tell you.  As I carried him back to HIS room he said, “When I get big I’m going to sleep with Mommy and Daddy.”  In my uneducated psychological analysis I’ve concluded that he turned four and became a “big” kid and Mommy and Daddy are big and they sleep in the same bed, so he should too.  It’s either that or some sort of Oedipus Complex.  For sanity sake, I’ll go with the former.

The events that took place last night made me realize that some things in life shouldn’t be taken for granted.  Things like alone time with your spouse and night-lights.  I just hope that I nipped this nocturnal invasion stuff in the bud.  I’d hate to see what would have happened if I wasn’t delayed by the screaming Mexican.


Copyright Linus Mann 2009 


*I know he wasn’t Mexican, but I just smile thinking about the little bastard.  It’s not my fault that I spent my adolescence in the late seventies and crap like Fantasy Island was shoved down my throat via Saturday night television.

**I’m kidding snookie-pie; it was close to your size.

May 2, 2009 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Uncategorized | , , | 3 Comments

The Return of… Words

Wow, it seems like yesterday that I last posted, that or 106 yesterdays.  Well, I’m back and I’m ready to start filling your heads with thoughtful anecdotes about my family and my life in general.  Okay, I’m back and I’m ready to spout my views, spill my guts and make you weep.  Okay, okay, here’s the truth: I’m back and I’m going to write about anything that I find interesting whether it bores you to tears, tickles your fancy, or just makes you want to cry or laugh or shake your head or pull your hair…

Since I’ve been away for a while, I’ll try to catch you up on my life.  This is your last chance to look away before I start droning on, so don’t say I didn’t warn you if you pass out or fall in love (with my writing).

The kids have both changed dramatically since my last post.  My daughter has become an emotional roller coaster that knows exactly what she wants out of life and is not afraid to go out and take it, whether it’s hers or someone else’s.  This can be a little troublesome if the item in question is expensive or hard to conceal, but assertiveness is very important in today’s child-eat-child world, so I can deal with it. 

My son’s goals are very similar to his big sister’s.  In fact, he wants exactly what she wants out of life, but only while she possesses it.  This is a bit more of a hassle for me than my daughter’s issues because I care if someone takes her stuff, but I’m learning how to work with my daughter to appease the boy.  We throw out some red herrings and the boy is as happy as Heather Mills is this week, and like the former Mrs. McCartney, it keeps him occupied for a little while until there’s something else to be coveted.  Luckily for us that just might be a plastic frog or a drumstick, as opposed to song royalties or castles.

As for my beautiful wife, she’s just as wonderful as before and still tolerates me, usually.  She’s a great mother and hardly scolds me about my lousy parenting skills unless they are life threatening, which isn’t very often, you know, once, maybe twice a week.

My dog’s just as loyal as always and still holds a higher standing in the house than me, but I can deal with that.  Well, I have to deal with it because what’s the alternative, dog stew?  I’m kidding; I prefer chops.  Does anyone have any golden retriever recipes?  I’m kidding again; I really do love my dog as much as the rest of my family.  Okay, not as much as the rest of the family, but almost as much.  Kind of how the Baldwin’s feel about Stephen, but a little more.

As for me, I put my writing on hiatus to pursue an important goal: becoming a mime.  I was quite successful, actually too successful; I was stuck in that freaking imaginary box and couldn’t get out for days.  This kind of stripped me of my passion to be the next Marcel Marceau, but I did lose ten pounds.

The last paragraph was total B.S., but I do plan on making this site a regular thing again.  Check back sooner than 106 days (early July), because I might get on a roll, or at least a tailspin.  Huh?

copyright Linus Mann 2008

March 19, 2008 Posted by | family, Humor, kids, life, parenthood, parenting, Ranting | , , , , | 5 Comments