If you can’t decide which dog is best, get them all … adopt a doofus!
Because I’m older, wiser and probably have way more stretch marks than you, too!

Yet another testimony to the power of being able to make children cheer and grown men cry!

My father is going back into the hospital - since, my mom is feeling better and it's his turn, anyway...dammit! - and though this round of surgery is not life threatening, I do believe that this time, his going under the knife (for the 10th time in three years) will undoubtedly prove to be my family's undoing!

"Hi, Sweetie..."

[&#@%]
"...just wanted to let you know..."

[%@#&]
"...your father and I are home."

[cough]
"Good...um...is everything okay?"

[&#@%]
"Hmmm?"

[%@#&]
"Oh, that...yes, your father's just trying to take his [blankety-blank] jacket off..."

[muffled voice]
"WOULD YOU JUST CALM DOWN...FOR THE LOVE OF...GETTING YOURSELF AGGRIVATED ISN'T GOING TO HELP...IS IT!?!?"

[hissing]
"Ugh...I hope they fix him, soon...because his [blankety-blank] pain is killing me!

[heavy sigh]
"I'm sorry, Sweetie...did you say something?"

[cough] 
"Nope, see you Sunday...love you...buh-bye!"

[click] 

Typically, I would have stayed on the line and offered my mother a few comforting words - like, "Don't worry," and "You'll be fine!" - but, these days - what, with my mother's new knees and my father's dead arm - I'm lucky if I get a word in above all the hissing, spitting and cursing.

"Um...okay, love you...buh-bye!"

[click]

On the one hand, I think it's natural for my parents to feel frustrated with the physical pain they've each had to go through for the past...well, feels like forever to them, I'm sure.  On the other hand...holy cats!...do my kids have to see their grandparents scratch each others eyes out...every Sunday!?!

[shielding them from all the spit]

"I know you are having a tough time - just take a look at all the zits on my chin - really, I do.

This is where I usually start to lose it - because I am A WIMPY-ASSED CRY-BABY!
"But...[snort]...that's no reason...[snarf]...to hurt each other!"

And then my father starts to cry.
"Don't you know...[snarf]...how much it hurts me, too...[snort]...already!?!"

And then my mother starts to cry.

[&#@%]

"I just love these family-get-togethers; don't you!?!"

Now, we're all laughing (and crying) and blowing snot like it was 1999 - I can't quite remember what happened, then, but I'm pretty sure someone was getting something repaired, rebuilt or replaced.
"Ummmm...why are guys crying?"

[eyes go wide]

Oh, [blankety-blank] the kids!

"Uh, we're not crying."

[sniff]
"Yes, you are...[snarf]...and...[snort]...it's making me sad!"

And then the rest of my kids...oh, you know.

On the one hand, I think it's okay for my kids to see that grown ups can be sad, frustrated, angry...well, everything they feel about us, pretty much, and on a regular basis.  On the other hand, holy catharsis...I can't help but wonder, you know, do they really have to see...this...much...snot!?!

"Don't worry...we're fine...the sad is gone...these ARE happy tears!"

[blank stare]
"Who's ready for soup?!?!"

HURRAY!

And then my father does some funny gestures with is dead arm, makes the kids laugh and they charge into my mother's kitchen to eat everything...they do NOT eat at home.

"Mmmm...I wuv mama's duck...es-pesh-wee da neck!"

So, what are you doing this Sunday? 

[click]

Hello?

This is where I would typically think, TGIF.

"Have a terrific weekend!"

But, you're welcome to hang around - just a little longer - and tell me that everything is going to be, you know, okay.

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