Since the recent birth of our first grand kid many old memories of when our kids were born came flooding back to me and over the years I have come to realize that as a parent I didn't have a clue about what I was doing. I am so thankful that Debbie's parents lived down the street a few blocks for helpful advice or I might have been hosing those little goobers down in the back yard with the water hose at bath time and duct taping them to the hood of my pickup to dry them off. Good thing duct tape doesn't stick well to little wet bodies. lol. Clueless would have been an understatement as far as my daddy skills went. The only thing of any real value that I knew about little kids was that they liked to be tossed straight up into the air and caught again. My dad, who was known as "Uncle Alvin" by all of my cousins (which were many), loved this activity. He used to grab them under the arms and basically launch them from a standing position high into the air with his brute strength and catch them on their way back to earth under their arms before they hit the ground. It was amazing to watch young children in perfectly good health leave the ground like a tomahawk missile, disappear into the blue sky then suddenly reappear as a blurred shadowy figure returning to earth. The cousins just loved this and all of them would stand in line for hours begging "Uncle Alvin" for more. I think dad enjoyed it as much as the kids. One important rule that had to be observed during this process was never launch them facing the sun for the obvious reasons. For some reason most mothers had trouble getting their minds wrapped around the thought of someone launching their little darlings into the stratosphere for fun but my cousins were convinced it was nothing less than Six Flags Over Hooterville. On a rare occasion a kid would slip through Uncle Alvin's grasp and have what NASA would call a "Hard Landing". But once the dust settled a cousin would get up and clean themselves off and hurry to get back in line (although some were slower than others because of their newly acquired limp). It became an unspoken rule that if you were involved in one of those "Hard Landings" there was no crying because once one of the Mommas heard their little darlings boohooing it was "Game Over". No one really ever took Dad to task over a "Hard Landing" because everyone accepted the fact that even the great Dallas Cowboy Bob Hayes dropped a pass once in a while. Although my dad taught me many wonderful things about life and how to be a good dad, the skill of launching young children into outer space with brute strength captured my attention the most. It wasn't helping my sweet wife clean house, give baths, warm bottles, wash clothes, change diapers or rocking babies to sleep. It was throwing those little goobers in the air and praying I didn't lose sight of them in the sun. Now that was a cool daddy skill to have.
So the only reason my children have turned out to be anywhere close to normal was because of my wonderful wife's strong parenting skills but weak upper arm strength. I can only recall one failed decision Debbie made with our first born and it was to use cloth diapers instead of disposables. I was perplexed by this because given the choice of throwing a poopy diaper in a trash can verses washing them out with your bare hands I would pick the trash can every time. But since my secret objective was to avoid those stinky baby chores, I agreed to see where this would lead.
Well after three days of rinsing poopy diapers out in the toilet
I noticed Debbie's resolve was waning. I came home from work on Day Three of cloth diaper use to find a pile of brown colored cloth diapers piled high in the toilet. The baby was crying, the bath room was stinky and I knew it was time for our family to start producing our very own "environmental footprint" because she was done with cloth diapers . So I made the thirty five mile drive to the grocery store and walked into the twenty first century by purchasing several boxes of disposables. The rest of the old cloth diapers became cleaning rags (minus the stinky pile I mentioned above) and parenting got a tad bit easier from that day forward. I will tell you that over the years when my kids wore disposable diapers, there were several times I considered suing all of those diaper companies for false advertisement. As you might remember, each box of diapers came marked with a weight limit on it such as "10 to 15 pounds" or "15 to 25 pounds" right? I must tell you that no matter which diaper brand or size we bought, none of them ever held that many pounds of poop between diaper changes and trust me I gave it the old college try. I decided it was all a big con by corporate America to make us dad's look bad. If your bottle of coke shows to contain 20 ounces of soda why shouldn't us dad's expect that those diapers should hold that many pounds of baby poo? I have yet to find a lawyer willing to take my case.
The reason I bring up the subject of diapers is that at age fifty Debbie and I had no clue we would be forced to start buying diapers again and it wasn't for our new granddaughter Zerah or her fifty three year old grandpa!!! It was for Red Dog's pesky little sister Rosie. Yes, Rosie our 10 month old ridgeback. Since some of my readers are youngsters and I don't want to go into great detail about the birds and the bee's (even if most of them already know more about that subject most of us old toads) I will just say that Rosie came into her "special time" so she could have puppies some day. (Note to readers: Please pause at this time so that the youngster can explain to you in more detail what "special time" means lol). With three women living in my house most of my married life I have unfortunately become way too familiar with "special time" over the years and I thought these days were long gone but I was "WRONG". "Great", now Rosie has to have her "special time" and we have never had indoor dogs to deal with "special time" so I'm flat clueless (which is not uncommon for me about females) as to how to take care of this blessed event. My first thought was to banish her to the back of the property until the "special event" was over but then I thought what if some gentleman caller finds his way under the fence and we end up with a gaggle of puppies because it would be just my luck to be stuck delivering those little goobers and I don't recall being trained in puppy birthing during my medical education. So what do we do? Well it just so happened that my oldest daughter and husband were in town and she had the answer for the situation. Baby diapers and little girl panties! That answer wasn't even in my top 100 of solutions. Diapers and panties.....hmmm! Now folks you have to remember I am not necessarily anatomy ignorant and have been in medicine in one fashion or another for almost 30 years so how do we fit two legged equipment on a four legged problem with a tail? And the answer is........(ding)....scissors! Ok, now we have baby diapers, little girl panties and a pair of scissors but we still have a dog, four legs and tail. If we are going to cut off a couple of legs and a tail I have power tools that would do a much faster and easier job than scissors and I think teaching Ms. Rosie to walk on two hind legs will be way too difficult especially given the fact she will have just lost two front legs and a tail. Well my daughter quickly remarked (while rolling her eyes at me) that there would be no need for any type of amputations today. So off to the Dollar General Store went the girls. For those of you who have never heard of a "Dollar General Store", it's the Hooterville version of WalMart (I am now expecting an advertisement check from both companies for mentioning their names on my blog in my dreams of course!) and for those of you who are too young to know where "Hooterville" is, well that's what "Google" is for (there's another advertising check right there, I wish!) so grab your tech gadget and look it up. When they get back from DGS they have baby diapers and little girl pink panties with multiple Tinkerbell characters on them. My daughter eye balls Rosie's rear end then takes the scissors and cuts an x in the center of the panties and diaper. She then grabs Rosie, plops her on her back and slaps the diaper on then tapes it around her middle. She then grabs the pink little girl panties with Tinkerbelle on them and shoves Rosie's two hind legs through the legs holes and we now have a doggie diaper safe and secure. I bet by now your asking what did she do with the tail, well that's where the x came in on the diapers and panties and it wasn't quick and easy to tackle. First trying to poke a wagging tail through the cut in a diaper and panties was like trying to poke a wet noodle through the eye of a needle. It took several tries to hit the bulls eye. What was even more difficult was when poor little Rosie realized that the object of the game was to grab her tail and poke it through a hole she went into immediate tail tuck. I mean that tail of hers was locked down so tight between her legs it nearly took a lift jack to put it into threading position but finally Ms. Rosie caught on as to what we here trying to do and relaxed. So now we have the blood line of a great lion hunter in diapers and panties, how proud her ancestors would have been. But to Rosie's credit she stood up and started prancing through the house with her new homemade pink diaper panties then went outside to sun bathe to show off her new drawers to the world.
I am not quite sure what the take home message is about Rosie and her new "Doggie Diapers". I guess it could be whether you are man or beast wear your diapers with your head held high and keep on enjoying life. But mostly I just find it really strange to see a dog, especially one who's heritage is to track down and kill lions, walking through my house with a diaper and Tinkerbell panties strapped to her rear end. But I guess that's just how we roll at the Howard house these day. Until the next adventure, God bless you all.