Monday, August 31, 2009

What Are You, Three?

The boy turns four in six weeks, his older sister will be six in half that time.

She is starting grade one next week, he is starting school.

They're pretty excited, he more so.

I can't wait to turn four, he says.

Now my eldest is steadfast in her belief that the entire world revolves around her. Everything and I do mean everything relates to her upcoming birthday. Sunny outside? I hope its sunny on my birthday. Pork chops for supper? On my birthday I don't want pork chops. And so it goes.

The boy is taking the opposite tact, announcing yesterday that on his birthday he wants a Closed sign put up outside of our house and that he does not want a party. He does not want anyone coming by our place, no sir no how. He wants to spend his birthday hanging out with his parents, his siblings and his dog.

He marches to his own drummer that one. We're a little nervous about the whole school thing, to be honest. Our daughter is pretty wild but she also has a healthy respect for authority. Her teacher (and all adults who do not live in our house) always praised her for listening so well and never causing any trouble. When this happened we figured we were part of some gigantic prank show on TV or that somehow she has swapped places with another, more docile child, sort of like in those Freaky Friday type movies or Big. Or Jennifer Garner in that 13 30 movie.

Jennifer Garner. Mmmmm.

Her kid looks like a goblin, you know.

The boy is going to have the same teacher as his older sister did. We love this guy. He's strict but he's also totally creative. If I had had a teacher like him in kindergarten I'd probably have three Pullitzer Prizes by now or I'd be in the London Philharmonic or I'd be an astronaut or starring in pornos or something big, really big. Seriously. This guy is awesome.

He also does not put up with a single bit of shit and here's the thing. The boy is stubborn. He's a mule. He's pigheaded. Only 1% of the time is he like this. The rest of the time he's Joe Cool. But when he gets it in his head that he's going to shove it up your ass then the trouble starts.

Sit down and finish your supper or I'll be deleting a Mickey Mouse Club from the PVR, I say.

I don't care. Delete them all.

Get to sleep or I'll take your pirate hat away.

Here, take all of my pirate stuff

Stop hitting your sister or I'm going to take all of your cars into the back yard, douse them with gasoline and light them on fire.

Hold on while I get my matches for you.

I'm strict but fair as a father. I pick my battles and I let them be a little wild. They have to be kids. But I have a line and its pretty clear and when they cross it they get warned and then the hammer comes down. I used to get a little bananas but I've learned how to hold my temper much better. The key is to keep them off balance. One time my daughter was giving me grief and there was no getting through to her. She'd been to a birthday party the day before so I grabbed the balloon she had brought home and was dragging with her everywhere around the house. I got myself a pin and she was up the stairs getting ready for bed so fast you wouldn't believe it.

So the boy is stubborn and he's rough and tumble and that's just fine but sometimes I have to take the wind out of him a little. His sister was pissing him off a little yesterday and so he waded in there like Billy Conn, just whaling on her, mostly shots to the body and he wouldn't stop so I pulled him off of her and that was it, no trip to the park for him.

But I'm happy that he has a tougher side. My wife has told me about times last year when they were picking up my daughter and some kid was picking on him and how she handled it and in my head I'm thinking that if we really want this to stop the boy's got to lay this fucker out. That will stop it.

So I might be a problem.

Daddy, that kid pushed me.

Well son, I can't do a thing about it. But here's what you can do. Go over there. Kick him in the nuts as hard as you can. Or you can punch him in the face until he starts to cry. Either way he's not going to bother you again I can guarantee you that.

Now the boy is absolutely brilliant but the thing is he's three (almost four) and when they say that a three year old and a dog have about the same level of smarts, well let me tell you they're not too far off. Try and explain to the boy why throwing his sister down the stairs is not a good idea (dangerous, risk of injury etc etc) and he's going to reply with an explanation of how he's invisible becasue he's a spy and he's wearing his spy robe. Of course he's talking to his feet or the lamp at this point, hard to say.

Of course he can count to one hundred. The dog can't do that. But when I tell the dog to stop eating garbage he stops. Plus he's ingratiated himself with the baby so that she has taken it into her hands to make sure that he's well fed, every second thing on her tray gets tossed overboard while he lurks just outside of the room, ready to come in and clean up. Plus he can lick his balls. Well he could if he had any. So he's no dummy.

Of course he's not getting any smarter whereas the boy is going to have the world by the tail before too long.


The number of words written about Rob Schremp is almost completely inverse to the actual impact he has had on the Edmonton Oilers as a professional hockey player.

I wish Schremp were a superstar, I do, hell I wish Cameron Abney will be the second coming of Gordie Howe. As an Oilers' fan its in my best interest for every Oiler draft pick to end up in the Hall of Fame.

But it remains that he has had one good year out of three in the AHL, the AHL remember, and that he cannot skate very well and is completely useless without the puck, still. He does not hit or fight. He does not backcheck or forecheck. A number of people have noted that he does not compete hard enough.

There are still Schremp apologists out there who think that it is MacT's fault or the Oilers' fault that this guy is not centring Hemsky and Penner and of course my question in if this guy is that good then why has nobody traded for him? The Oilers don't realize it, sure, but where are the other twenty nine teams clamouring for his services?

So the latest article on Schremp came out and caused a bit of a firestorm. Now for me I don't mind the cursing and I don't mind the outspoken persona. Thing is if you're going to be a loudmouth and talk about 'Rob Schremp' hockey like its some sort of brand, you know, that we should be excited about, then you had better be able to bring it like Jeremy Roenick or Brett Hull. I mean I know a lot of guys who play Rob Schremp hockey in my beer league, those fat loudmouths who wave their stick in the air at the redline waiting for the breakaway pass. So its definitely a popular brand of hockey.

Because when you admit on the record that with a spot in the NHL on the line and a whole lot of guys between you and that spot that you failed to spend the summer doing everything preparing yourself for that challenge, that in fact you came into camp out of shape, well that's all kinds of stupid right there, there's no other word for it.

Now when you're young you're young. You don't get where you are in a straight line. I certainly didn't. If I knew then and all that shit. I wouldn't take a minute of it back either, growing up is part of growing up and it isn't easy for anyone involved. The boy is going to give me enough headaches in the years to come and I'm sure when he drops out of med school to play drums in a band or when I find him banging some little piece of tail in my bed or smoking my dope or drinking my wine I'm going to have to beat the shit out of him

But at least the boy is three. He's got a whole lot of growing up to do, years of it. Rob Schremp is twenty years older and he's trying to start a career, probably the only one he will ever have. What's his excuse again?


spOILer said...


'Tis a sad world by the way, when the eloquence of Dog Haikus gets traded for Grampa Simpson.

Yup, really looking forward to The Mighty Quinn, I am. This whole season promises to be one big flapdoodle, donnybrook, tommyrot, hullafuckinballoo.

Olivier said...

That's the thing with prospects and getting older (as a fan)... They lose their identity. Rob Schremp, to me (as a Habs fan), will always be known as The Guy Who Made Me Realize Even Strenght Scoring At The AHL Level is Important™.

I'm telling you guys: I love Rob Schremp.

Bar Qu said...

Love your 'the boy' stories. I've got three boys - 5, 3 and 7 months, all born with their mother's bull-headedness and their father's gift of deafness (metaphorical). The oldest starts kindergarten tomorrow and when he started pre-school we had some similar thoughts about notes home saying Please explain to Cole why physically assaulting other children is not a good idea. Didn't happen (though we did hear all the time about the difficulty he had sitting still - whatever). Kids react well to teachers, since teachers have seen them all and know how to lower the boom and get co-operation (I say as a modest teacher!). Plus, its not Mom or Dad and kids just act different for someone else in authority - unless they're Rob Schrimp (sic) and then all you can do is kick him to the curb. ;)

Traktor said...

Sam Gagner teaching Rob Schremp about protein shakes is one of the funniest things I've ever seen in my life.

Schremp probably fills his water bottles with Pepsi too.

Mr DeBakey said...

"I know a lot of guys who play Rob Schremp hockey in my beer league, those fat loudmouths who wave their stick in the air at the redline waiting for the breakaway pass. So its definitely a popular brand of hockey."

Ahh yes
We have a winner!