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A Child Finds her Stuffed Animal

There was an absolutely stunning event that occurred at our home this past week.

Brave daddies and mommies are aware of the tragic turn of events during our trip to Washington D.C. last spring. The Oppressed was distraught and heartbroken when she wasn’t able to find Quackers. Quackers is one of her animals and she was selected to accompany us on our journey. She was inexplicably missing when we returned home and began to unpack and put away clothes and souvenirs.

There was trouble at the house that week and The Oppressed made certain that everyone was aware of it. She went to work, snapping a picture of Sir Duck-sa-Lot from a distance. Quackers is smaller, so a picture of a duck that looks smaller than he really is would help everyone in their job to recover the lost, scared, (stuffed) hungry duck.

(Ahem) “Quackers”

Days turned to weeks. Weeks turned to months. Vigils we’re held. Sad, agonizing thoughts of an abandoned duck being found alone in a checked-out hotel room filled the child’s mind. What would happen to him? If housekeeping needed to get our room ready for new guests, what would become of the little, helpless (stuffed) duck?

One recent afternoon, Lovie and I were en route to her college orientation. I was mentally preparing her and myself for the afternoon ahead. We were discussing the events that lay ahead of us when my cell phone rang. But I may be getting ahead of myself. Here’s The Oppressed.

The Oppressed

My parents told me that I had to clean my room. So, I got to work, but when the time came to clean the drawers of my vanity. I had to clean the last door which I hadn’t opened in months. I opened it and was so overjoyed. A small yellow fluffy “something” was sitting there. I sat there in shock. I cried tears of happiness. It was quackers! I adamantly grabbed quackers and hugged him and got Sir Duck-Sa-Lot and put them on my bed. I ran and called Dad.

“QUACKERS!” I said.

“What?” Dad asked.

“I found him!”

“Really?” dad said.

“Yes,” I said. I was so over-overjoyed. I had done it. I found quackers!

Back to Dad

So, there you have it, Brave Daddies and Brave Mommies. Another stuffed lovie has made it back home safe and sound. Of course, he was always safe in my daughter’s room. She just needed to (ahem) pick up a few things and square away a few more things. Let this be a lesson for your children, keepers and caretakers of little stuffed animals big and small. Take care of your things and keep things organized, and you will be able to easily find them.

Together again

Check out “Gray Rabbit’s Odd One Out” for a good book to teach your children about organization and finding lost things.

When Your Child Loses a Stuffed Animal

We’re still trying to get back into the swing of things after our Washington D.C. trip. Laundry and dishes have piled back up. The children have moved on from days of walking and sightseeing to days of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. I’ve moved back to my regimens of reading and writing.

Eight people returning from vacation means a lot of laundry. Lovie and The Oppressed are doing everything they can to stay on top of things and attend to the mountains upon mountains of dirty clothes.

The children brought their luggage and souvenirs back to their respective rooms and all of us, including me, are still going through what we brought home with us and making sure it’s in their proper places. This brings me to the crisis at hand. You see, The Oppressed is the very proud owner of two stuffed ducks, Sir Ducks-a-Lot and Quackers.

Missing Duck

Well, as she brought her stuff back to her room and got re-adjusted with her life at home and school, my youngest daughter noticed that one of the ducks was missing. The one that was missing just so happened to be the smallest of the two.

Sir Duck-sa-Lot

This bothered The Oppressed, who was immediately concerned for Quackers’ welfare. I explained to her that things would be alright. We’ll find Quackers. This is also an excellent opportunity to square things away in her room. I told her I was certain that Quackers would turn up as we put things away and tidied up her bedroom.

Quackers

She was upset with me. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. I certainly didn’t understand what needed to be done. Time was of the essence, and we can’t waste it moving things around her bedroom (like she was supposed to do before Quackers went missing, anyway).

The Oppressed immediately went around the house asking all siblings if anyone has seen Quackers. Alas, no one has seen her precious duck. I wish to point out that Quackers is one of the newest additions to the bedroom of The Oppressed, so not only is Quackers new and not totally acclimated with the room or the rest of the house, Quackers is also small and scared, as mentioned before.

The “Missing” Poster

The Oppressed wasted no time in getting to work, not on picking up her room, of course, but in getting to work. She immediately made a poster to make everyone fully aware of the situation at hand, including a hand-drawn portrait of Quackers. She took a picture of Sir Ducks-a-Lot. More on that later.

She put the poster up on the refrigerator and pointed out the drawing of the duck to remind people what Quackers looked like, as well as the reward being offered for finding Quackers. That reward, originally $5, has since been raised to $5.50 and two snacks from her very own Easter basket. Again, if you are not aware of the gravity of the situation, my daughter will enlighten you.

“Missing” poster of Quackers. Note the increased reward and reminders of how scared and hungry he is.

The Picture

Back to the picture of Sir Ducks-a-Lot. Quackers is just a smaller version of SDL (I’m getting tired). The Oppressed has used this to her advantage. My daughter took a picture of SDL just in case the drawing of Quackers isn’t enough for people to go on. Also, the child has directed everyone’s attention to the refrigerator where the drawing and photo are. We hope everyone will study the drawing, the picture. She hopes everyone will take their own pictures and share them with friends, with neighbors. She hopes anyone who can help will join in her mission to bring a scared, lost duck home.

There is also a chance The Oppressed will be making a guest appearance on this website, as she is not confident that I can fully convey the magnitude and immediacy of this dire situation. Stay tuned for her message and for further developments on this story.

If you need help finding your child’s lost toy, or a replacement, visit lostmylovey.com to see if anyone has found it, or where you can purchase a new one. You can also visit multiple pages on Facebook for help with a lost friend.

A Fun Field Day at My Children’s School

There have been more exciting events and experiences as the school year winds down. Some events were a field trip to the zoo. This time, there was a Field Day held right at the school.

I volunteered at The Oppressed’s field day. This was a great time for students, parents, and faculty alike. Not only did I get to play some games with my youngest daughter, but I also got to talk to the teachers and get the real lowdown on what’s been happening at school.

Kickball

Field Day was a learning experience for me and the children. I manned the kickball station and got the rules from the coordinators before my first group of cherubs descended upon me. Apparently, you can’t throw the ball at the runner anymore. I’m not sure when that rule came about but here we are. No throwing at people.

I’m not sure exactly what it is the children do with themselves nowadays, but this is why I weep for the future of our country.

Another situation I needed to adjust to was actually needing to explain kickball to the little Field Day warriors. Kickball was almost a rule for me and my friends at recess. Apparently, that was then, and this is now. I’m not sure exactly what it is the children do with themselves nowadays, but this is why I weep for the future of our country.

This used to happen every day at recess.

After explaining the rules of the game, we are ready. Games last about 15 minutes before the signal to move to the next station. Children excitedly move on. A new group of eager, active students arrive. I explain the ins and outs of kickball to a new band of children. Each time I introduce the game to a new pack of participants, I hope I’m passing on a love and appreciation for the great game of kickball. As the students leave the field and the glorious games, they tell The Oppressed how much fun they had at my station. The Oppressed passes the approving remarks on to me later that day.

Cornhole

The week brought another Field Day. It’s nice to see the school sending the children outdoors for activity. This time, there are more grades involved than just my daughter’s. The Boy will be there, but a prior commitment prevents me from being there when it’s his turn. I’m there for The Oppressed, though. There is no kickball for me and the children this time. Instead, I am running the cornhole station.

There was a slight faux pas committed by Yours Truly on this fine and glorious day. I awarded two points if the beanbag went in the hole. You’re supposed to get three points in Cornhole. I apologize to all children who were cheated out of that extra point. Besides not awarding the proper points, I also took another liberty with the game. Teams were given a chance to tie the game. An overtime format was created. Was that a thing? Who knows, but I made it a thing.

I oversaw the matches, cheered when points were scored, got excited when a beanbag got in. I got nervous when a team got close to winning and wondered if a team would get a chance to tie. Out of respect for the losing team, I did not celebrate with the winning team. I’m not even sure they would allow it, but I stayed away nonetheless. If time allowed, we played another game.

The end of the Field Day brought a Tug-o-War tournament. Students watched as they waited their turns. Students screamed as a team got close to defeat, then found it within themselves to give a heave and stay in the contest. A team emerged from all the others for the ultimate bragging rights that would soon be forgotten, as the end of the school year is upon us.

Tug-o-War capped off the day.

Thank You, Volunteers

Students assembled at the end of the day. Teachers congratulated the events’ winners and thanked the volunteers for all their work and contributions. I was happy to be there and spend some time with my child. Not only that, but it was nice to be outside and work on my tan.

I picked up my kids at the end of the day. It was a fun day. We talked about the games played and what their favorite activity was. The Boy was glad he got out of the classroom. The Oppressed was glad to be outside with her friends. I was glad I could spend a little time with her.

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The Exciting End of The Boy’s Baseball Season

The weather has warmed up considerably since the first pitch of the baseball season was thrown back in April. The Boy and his teammates have faced down opponents two days a week since the start of the season.

It has been a season of multiple surprises. Some have been pleasant; others have been not so pleasant. It all depends on who you ask. The Boy was very disappointed with one development of the 2022 baseball season. When he was told (by me) that the season was going to end two weeks ago, no one realized it was the end of the regular season. There’s still the playoffs.

This slight miscommunication was a major issue with The Boy, who was told he wouldn’t have to (that’s right, “have to”) play baseball after the final out of the season was recorded on that pleasant evening that included chicken fingers and french fries from the concession stand.

Instead, The Boy was upset, and I was pleasantly surprised to learn that the regular season was a way to determine seeds for the playoffs. All of the teams at this level make the playoffs, and my son’s team, the second-place team in the league, was the number-2 seed in the tournament. The Boy understood the final game of the season to be the FINAL game. There was not talk of playoffs beyond that.

This past week brought us to those playoffs. This team has had good hitting all season. Fielding is a little suspect. Pitching? Well, they’re not far-removed from T-ball, so I’ll let you figure that out.

Taking the field for Game 1.

The Playoffs

Game one was an absolute anomaly for our diamond defenders. Our usually competitive team got spanked, making game two a critical “must-win” in the best-of-3 series.

Game 2 went back and forth. The Boy’s team went ahead, fell behind, and ultimately came up short, eliminating them and saddening many baseball bairns, just not the boy.

Postgame Words and Celebration

After the game, the manager gave players and parents alike a speech thanking everyone for their dedication to the team and the season. He invited everyone, players and families out for pizza immediately following the game.

The Boy and I graciously accepted his generous offer. We met coaches, children, and families at the restaurant. Boys were frantically moving from one table to another. I stayed at one table most of the night eating pizza and keeping an eye on the television carrying yet another baseball game while conversing with other parents.

The Boy and I then went home for the evening. We thanked the manager for his help this year and his generosity that night. While we drove home, The Boy told me how glad he was to have played baseball this year and even hinted that he MIGHT want to play next year. This, of course, did my heart good. We drove home with another season in our rearview mirror.

Lessons Learned

It’s tough when your kid doesn’t make it to the next round of playoffs. I am glad to have been able to watch my youngest son play baseball again. It wasn’t from the bench of the dugout where I can impart knowledge and savvy to the youngsters. Still, it was nice to be able to eat popcorn and Cracker Jacks and talk to other adults without worrying about eight or nine kids fighting over who’s playing first base or what the batting order is.

This year, I just got to watch baseball and talk to him about the game after. Of course, I had a little advice to give after the game and of course he was in no mind to hear what I have to say. In the meantime, I have 10 long months of nurturing that small ember of interest in baseball and make sure it doesn’t die out before sign-ups for the ’23 season start. A special thank you to Coaches Mike and John for their work and patience this year. Thank you for teaching everyone to be brave, play brave no matter what the score or situation was.

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I Chaperoned a School Field Trip to the Zoo

The Boy went on his first ever field trip recently. It happened later for him and his friends than it normally would thanks to Coronapalooza. One of the advantages of being a stay-at-home dad is being able to accompany the children on said field trips. Before I could prepare for this trip, however, I needed to complete yet another background check. Loyal daddies and mommies everywhere remember that momentous day I learned I had yet again passed.

There were many details to tend to before the big day. The Boy and I went to a local sandwich shop where we bought sandwiches, drinks and a special dessert.

The Boy and I were at the school on the day of our trip. Students and teachers took the bus. Parents lit a candle and said a prayer for the teachers. Five of the parents piled into a mommy’s minivan and made our way to the Franklin Park Zoo. It was a nice ride. There were adults, no kids, riding in a climate-controlled car. No kids yelling. Nothing being thrown.

Arriving at the Zoo

We get to the zoo and get out tickets from the teacher. It’s a small group for me, just The Boy and two of his friends. We are told there is a little time for us to check out some exhibits on our own before we are to meet for a presentation.

Walking around the zoo, I’m disappointed to see maybe half of the exhibits are closed. Animals are being moved, or at the vet, or maybe they’re just on vacation. I don’t know. What I do know is that after walking around the zoo for a little while, it’s time for us to attend a show put on by zookeepers. This is a welcome change for the grown-ups because it means someone else can deal with their questions and statements regarding zoology.

The zookeepers are very nice and patient with the children. That’s probably because they only have them for a few moments before they can dump them back on us and get out of there. We walk around for a couple of minutes. Some kids are hungry and start to eat their lunches. Kids eat while we walk. We see zebras. We walk into the bird sanctuary. No food is allowed in the sanctuary, and the kids put their snacks away while we are there.

This is when we get to the highlight of the day. There’s a playground at the zoo. The children’s eyes light up. We travelled miles to see this place, and the children stop at swings and slides that are at their school every day. I think there were some lions who were a little insulted at this.

Lunch on a Quiet Afternoon

I took advantage of the children’s distraction to eat my own lunch. In between bites, I survey the playground, making sure all three boys in my charge are still alive. There are normally six kids for me to check up on, so three is a nice little downgrade.

After expending some energy at the playground, I convince the boys to walk around the zoo and look for some more animals. We see some more, and then I check my phone. It’s time for the children to get back on the bus and head back to the school. The children board the bus. I board my minivan. We all go back to the school where I read a book and wait for the bell to dismiss the cherubs and I can bring home The Oppressed and The Boy.

We get home and they go upstairs to see Wife, who asks The Boy about the field trip and the fun he had. He said it was good and he did nothing. I fill in Wife on the animals who were on vacation (or break) and the playground, the highlight of the entire day. It was nice, but we can’t just hang around. The Boy needs to get changed. He has a baseball game.

How the Dad fought sickness. How Dad got Better.

(Based on “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” by Dr. Seuss)

Kids in the house had foreheads so hot.
Daddy didn’t like it, no he did not.
He didn’t understand. It was past flu season.
Why are they sick? What could be the reason?


Kids feel like their heads don’t feel right.
Kids feel their noses are too tight.
It’s real bad. The most sickly child of all
Feels like their nose is two sizes too small.


Whatever the problem, the head or the nose,
We’re hating this illness – flu or just colds.

My Kids are Sick

Tissues in formation for
sickly people in need.


Seeing them in bed, their sad little frowns.
Everyone’s sick. The sickest family in town.
I knew every child, downstairs and up,
all were sick. Just please don’t throw up.


“They’re running a fever,” I said with some gloom,
Wondering why the littles must be in my room.
Then I thought with paranoia nervously running,
How do I prevent my own illness from coming?


One day soon, I knew, being this close to kids
Breathing on me, would put my own health on the skids.
And then! Oh, the coughing, the sneezing, the noise.
Noise, Noise, Noise!


Who would cook the wife’s and children’s great feasts?
Cajun recipes, exotic dishes, upon which to feast.
FEAST, FEAST, FEAST!
Who would make them their food, their lovely grilled meats?
It was something this Daddy couldn’t stand in the least.


I know they’ll do something I like least of all.
Every kid in this house, the tall and the small,
Will come one-by-one like Christmas bells ringing
They’ll stand at my bed like fallen angels singing
And they’ll say there’s no clothes, and, “I’m hungry, Dad.”
DAD, DAD, DAD!
And the more I thought of these needy kids,
I knew I must put being sick on the skids.
For two weeks I’ve put up with coughing and fits.
I must find a way to end all of it.

Dad isn’t Feeling Well

Then I got a feeling. An awful feeling.
Daddy got a terrible, awful feeling.
Whatever shall I do? What’s this in my throat?
I’m walking around with medicine in my coat!

Cough drops come in handy for the coughing
and scratchy throat.


I sniffled and coughed. This isn’t fun.
Another symptom for me, and I will be done.
All I need is green tea and I will be hopping
But green tea was scarce because no one was shopping.
Do we have any juice? “No,” children said.
I’ll drink me some water, then off to bed.


I went under the covers with a stuffy head.
The next day I drove the kids to their school.
Then back home stumbling like a fool.
I opened the window for a little fresh air.
The state of the kitchen gave me a scare.
I’ll close my eyes first, then see what’s down there.


I tucked myself in. My eyelids went down.
The dirtiest house, now the sickest in town.
But Wife soon went shopping. Green tea filled the air.
Daddy needed tea, sherbet, and care.

Dad still Fights Sickness

Freeze pops help, too.


I faced another day in bed. Can’t leave there.


My throat was scratchy, my stuffy nose hissed.
I rolled over in bed, tissues in fist.
I slid out of bed, went into the kitchen
and grabbed some of that green tea I was missin’.


Water boiling, I sat for a moment or two.
Hoping to myself that it’s not the flu.
Tea bag in cup. Hot water flows.
“This illness,” I said, “Has just got to go.”
I slithered back in bed, feeling most unpleasant.
Kids sick in the past. I’m sick in the present.
Sudafed, Nyquil, hot tea with honey.
Cough drops and Gatorade; It’s really not funny.

DayQuil and NyQuil help me function.


Tissues and boxes in trash bags so nimbly.
Multiple bags filled one-by-one, by Jiminy.
I’m just having fruit and sherbet and teas.
No mashed potatoes. I can’t have roast beast!

Watch Daddy Take Care of Himself

I cleaned out that icebox of juices and fruits.
Why, I even took some iced tea to boot!
Then I drank all of my juice up with glee.
“And NOW,” grinned Daddy, “I will catch me some Z’s!”
So, I climbed into bed, and I’m ready to snore,
And I heard the small sound of one kid, maybe more.
I raised my head fast; I saw a young kid.
The Oppressed, who wanted to know what I did.
I had been caught by my youngest daughter
Who wanted to see if I wanted some water.

Daughter Loves her Dad

She stared at me and said, “Daddy, why”
“Why are you stuck in your bed? WHY?”
But, you know, this daddy is smart, though he’s sick.
I gave her my answer. I thought of it quick.
“Why, my sweet little tot,” The sick daddy told,
“Daddy’s got sniffles, a headache, and cold”
“I’m taking it easy in my bedroom, my dear.”
“I’m getting some rest and recovery here.”


My daughter heard the answer. I patted her head.
She brought me a drink as I went to bed.
And when The Oppressed left me with my cup,
I took me a nap with my nose still stuffed up.
Then the last thing I did before closing my eyes
Was wish to be better, then exhaled a sigh.
And the one little sound that I heard in the house
Was Kitty’s tail swishing as she tracked down a mouse.


I was feeling the same as my kids felt before:
Achy and tired and sniffling and sore.
Whatever the time, I know teens still a-bed.
Some kids are out playing. At least I’m not dead.

Dad is Doing Everything he Can

Tucked under blankets with meds and green tea,
along with the fruit and hot tea with honey.
Plenty of food and medicine ingested,
I just need to feel healthy and rested.
“Pooh-pooh to all this,” I was grumbly humming,
“This is how my kids were succumbing.
“If could wake up feeling fresh and anew,
“I could play catch for a minute or two
“Then the boy could go out and get fresh air, too.”


That is fun that this daddy simply MUST have.
Daddy rested, pulling blankets to his face
Hearing nothing, not a sound in the place.
My snores started slow, then started to grow.
I suppose it did, ‘cuz my wife told me so.
I slept and I snored, then I drank some more juice
and after days of suffering, I shook my illness loose.


Dad Feels Better. Dad Feels Good!

I woke up one day, popped open my eyes.
I could eat solid food, what a pleasant surprise!
We had all gotten better. The tall and the small
Were functioning. I could watch the boy hit the ball!
Homework had stopped, then restarted. It CAME!
I cooked meals no one ate. It was back to the same.
And Daddy resumed duties of the day,
Driving his youngest children to school both ways.
I can cook food and clean, and pick up the clothes.
I don’t need to worry ’bout this runny nose.
And I puzzled for hours, and puzzled some more.
I was happy to feel as I had felt before.
I was happy to be well, not feeling sore.


And I can now do a little, and a little bit more.
And what happens next? Well, like they say,
my sinuses had grown three sizes those days (they do say that).
And now my head doesn’t feel so tight.
I start my workload at first morning light.
I’m picking up toys, and I’m cooking feasts.
That’s great! I, myself, love me roast beast!

Check out my Facebook page for more parenting nuggets and gems. Facebook.com/BraveDaddy

What Happens when the Parent gets Sick

Sometimes people get sick. When the parent gets sick, specifically me, I need to put my big-boy pants on and deal with it. If one of my children, however, fall ill, I need to attend to them and make sure they are comfortable on their way to recovery.

Sick Child

My services (and my bed) were needed when The Oppressed fell ill one day. I got that phone call from the school that parents dread. Your child isn’t feeling well. They have a slight fever. We need you to pick them up.

I went to the school to pick up my daughter. The nurse spoke to me. The Oppressed had a slight fever and couldn’t stop coughing. I stopped at the store to buy some lemon drops and Life Savers, hoping sucking on some hard candy would help the cough and the throat.

I brought her home. She went straight to my bedroom where Wife checked her forehead to confirm a fever. We checked her temperature. She had a fever. The nurse told us she couldn’t come to school the next day no matter how she felt. The Oppressed was devastated to hear this news.

My daughter was on my side of the bed for the whole night. I camped out in The Boy’s room. The Boy was happy about it. The Oppressed was happy to be with Wife.

The next morning, I gave The Oppressed a couple of sips of coffee to help out the coughing and wheezing. We’ll give a nebulizer later in the day in case this isn’t just her body waking up. I then went to the supermarket. I bought tea, juice, fruit. The things I buy, consume, and promote to my children whenever I or someone else in the house gets sick. I made sure she had plenty of fluids, especially tea with honey. We did what we could to get the fever under control. School said The Oppressed needs to be fever-free without medicine for 24 hours before she returns.

Sick Children

The Gaggle approached me the day after The Oppressed came home. They told me they were getting sick. The child asked if I could procure some bone broth for them. It’s something they swear by it when they’re feeling ill.

Nasty, but effective.

So, I’m off to the store again. Before I go, I check in with The Oppressed. I mention something to her about when I got sick when I was around her age. My grandfather gave me something when was sick. I had a bad cold. I had never heard of it before, but he gave me something called “Fisherman’s Friend”. This was one of the absolute nastiest things I had ever tasted (right up there with Robitussin DM), but it works. I’ll never forget the taste of it. I explained to The Oppressed how nasty Fisherman’s Friend tastes but also tell her how effective it is. She wasn’t keen on trying it at first, but she appears to be coming around since her symptoms of coughing and a sore throat aren’t going away.

Fisherman’s Friend is one of the absolute nastiest things I had ever tasted, right up there with Robitussin DM.

I went to the store for bone broth, more juice, more fruit. I also find a small package of Fisherman’s Friend. This one, however is not like the one I took in the days of my youth. This particular kind has a mint exterior. I take this one and explain to the oppressed that this could potentially be a better one than the original one I take. She agrees to try it. I leave her with the medicine and return downstairs to put the other things away and to inform The Gaggle I have returned with their bone broth. The Gaggle comes to the kitchen to prepare it. After the latest round of groceries are put away, and I go back upstairs to check on The Oppressed to see how she is doing. She’s doing alright.

I am with her reading while she watches YouTube. Moments pass, and I hear my youngest daughter make a weird sound. I turn to look, and she looks like she drank straight lemon juice. She is fanning herself with her fingers and in a gurgling voice says, “barrel”. I give her a wastebasket and she spits the Fisherman’s Friend tablet into it. I’m guessing the mint exterior had melted away and she was tasting the actual medicine itself.

Robitussin DM. The bane of my childhood.

“That stuff is nasty,” she tells me. “How do you eat that?”

“It’s nasty, but it works,” I tell her. “You just suck it up and deal with the nasty taste and feel better.”

Watch closely. The hands are quicker than the eye.

Forget the suck it up and deal with it. The Oppressed is done with this nasty-tasting medicine, and she would much rather drink fluids and flush it out. A round of Harry Potter movies should go rather well with the fluids to help the convalescence.

One day, I take her to the beach. This is another remedy I learned from my grandfather. Fresh salt air for the lungs. The Oppressed and I sit down on the bench and watch the ocean come in. She puts on a little magic show for me with the change I have in my pocket. On the way home, she tells me how much better she feels from the beach. The coughing stopped for a little while.

Parents Feeling sort of Better

The week was coming to a close. Everyone was looking forward to two days off from work and school. I was looking forward to watching The Boy play baseball. There was a rib fest happening on the Lexington Green and we had no set plans as of yet. My nose was running a little on Friday, but that’s to be expected in spring with allergies and pollen working together to wreak a little havoc on a delicate creature like me. Saturday came and I took The Boy to his game. He did a rain dance in the driveway before getting into the car and after getting out of the car at the field. It didn’t work and the baseball gods allowed me to watch a baseball game.

One of my favorite things to watch.

The Boy’s team won, and as of now they are tied for first place. I went home and said I wasn’t feeling great, so I thought I would lie down for a bit. I woke up congested with a cough and a runny nose. This is unacceptable. There is a rib fest happening at the Lexington Green. Wife took the kids to the movies on Saturday night.

The Rest of the Weekend

I remain home with The Oppressed. We watch “Hook” while everyone else watches the latest Dr. Strange movie. I pop a Nyquil, retire to bed, and sleep until 9:30. Me sleeping that late is unheard of in this house. I’m not feeling great. I take a Dayquil and wife brings me coffee. This is Day 2 of the rib fest and I’m not feeling like leaving the house on a glorious spring day. The gods are mocking me in this fashion. I sit in my chair, sipping coffee and share my plight with the world. I might have to take a Fisherman’s Friend.

Monday morning has arrived. I sleep until after 7:00. I’m usually the first one out of bed to wake the teens for the bus. Wife took care of that for me. Today, it looks like I’ll be coaching from the sidelines but that’s alright. My kids are motivated and self-starters, right?

Daddy Passes Another Cori Check, Fingerprinting

He can chaperone field trips

Brave Daddy stops his yardwork long enough to address adoring public upon
hearing news of his latest successful CORI check. (Photo: Brave Daddy)

Brave Daddy, renowned for humorous parenting stories, has passed his fourth CORI and second fingerprinting, according to local sources.

Local school staff reported the results. As a result, the parenting pundit can accompany his children on field trips and participate in other school activities. Brave Daddy’s wife also passed CORI and fingerprinting, allowing her to chaperone.

The need for background checks was deemed necessary given the desire to chaperone previously mentioned field trips. He has previously undergone two checks for sports and one for foster parenting.

“I’m very happy with this latest check,” Brave Daddy said during a break from cutting grass.

Pivetta is on the mound for Sox against Texas, Dunning.

Brave Daddy’s lawyer, Dewey Cheatum, said he was glad but not surprised with the results. He hoped his client would no longer need to prove his merits to the community.

“My client has met and overcome a crucible of tribulations. This should certainly provide an example and inspire parents everywhere,” Cheatum said. “His Herculean efforts are extraordinary.”

Another piece of the acquitting evidence

An unnamed source called the needed fourth check, “a clerical error on a bureaucratic level.”

What Lies Ahead

In addition to being excited to see new things with his family, Brave Daddy also expressed interest in investigating the offerings of snack bars and food trucks in the vicinity of the field trip sites.

“I hope I find some barbecue or ice cream,” he said hopefully.

The elation of the news does not stop at Brave Daddy. His youngest daughter, The Oppressed, voiced her approval of the results and is looking forward to a full list of activities as the school year enters the homestretch. Brave Daddy’s youngest son, The Boy, wants to go to a friend’s house and could not comment. Older children Slick, Slugger, and Lovie are campaigning to have final exams cancelled and could not be reached for comment. Finally, The Gaggle is sleeping.

Celtics are hoping to stay alive in Milwaukee.

Finally, Brave Daddy’s wife declined to comment on the matter, citing, “the ridiculousness of the story and subject matter.”

How we Celebrated Mother’s Day Weekend

Our weekend was a busy one. It usually is. This one just happened to be Mother’s Day Weekend, so there was a little more excitement packed into our short respite.

Friday

Friday began with me taking The Boy and The Oppressed to school. In the midst of me making sure they had everything they needed for their day, I was trying to figure out what to get my mother for Mother’s Day. It’s a special occasion, my mom is a special lady, and Mother’s Day comes only once a year, so I wanted to do something nice for her.

I talked to my dad, who suggested Mom might enjoy a nice historical novel. One of the nice things about being a writer is that you know other writers and your familiar with many books to choose from. This familiarity with such nice people comes in handy in a situation like this. After dropping the cherubs off at school, I check my phone for a local bookstore that carries a historical fiction book that just happened to carry Brave Daddy’s Seal of Approval. I’m willing to go anywhere for this book. It’s a gift and time is running out. Alas, after looking and searching bookstores from Pittsfield to Provincetown, from Falmouth, Massachusetts to Falmouth, Maine, there is not one that carries this book, and I am forced to resort to buying online. A win for the Wife and children, who remind me this is where things are going. Defeated, I make my online purchase.

The evening brought us Lovie and Slick’s Senior Prom. This was the end of weeks of running around and making sure everything was in order for Lovie, Slick, and The Gaggle, who was Lovie’s +1 for the evening. Wife was an absolute champ helping the ladies with dresses, nails, hair, and nerves that come with the big night. I looked for a limousine and was able to find a 7-seater Suburban for five teenagers for the night.

Prom, of course, coincided with the many other things that need to be done every day. To help lessen the burden on Slick, I went to the store to pick up his suit for the evening. Slick and Wife picked out the suit at a shop nearby. It’s a great place. I should know, I picked out a suit there last summer for a wedding. While I was there waiting for them to bring out the suit, I found a sharp-looking vest that I thought would come in handy sometime in the future. I walked out with Slick’s suit and my new vest. I was very proud.

I returned home with the suit and proudly showed off my new vest to Wife, who was helping the ladies with everything necessary for a night of dancing. Slick’s girlfriend hadn’t shown up yet, and everyone was looking at the clock. It was getting close to “Go” time. Slick put on his suit. He just needed a little help with his tie. He sure looked different wearing something besides sweatpants and Crocs.

The Suburban arrived, Slick’s girlfriend had not. Everyone was checking the time. Wife and I were quickly formulating a Plan B. It was getting close to the beginning of prom. We decided to snap some pictures without her. It was looking like Slick and his date would have to be driven to the prom separately. We decided to take some pictures without his girlfriend in case she never makes it. After pictures are taken, Slick gets a phone call. His date is two minutes away. Relieved sighs are exhaled. She arrives and more pictures are snapped. Slick, his GF, Lovie, The Gaggle, and a friend of Lovie’s load into the Suburban and are whisked away to a magical night of music and dancing. Wife and I see them off with visions and memories of our own proms still fresh in our minds.

The Oppressed and I get into our own car and drive for the mall. We still need to make final preparations for Mother’s Day. She has her present picked out, and there’s a nice little project that said gift is a part of. I would like to get something for Wife to mark the occasion. My youngest daughter is glad to help out with this mission. We arrive at the mall and look around at the stores to see what the perfect gift for a mother of six would be. We find a store and, with her help, find a great gift that would help celebrate the day to celebrate mothers. The Oppressed feels we need to celebrate our shopping success with pretzels and a cold drink, but first, it’s off to Newbury Comics for a Taylor Swift CD. We arrive home with everything we need for Wife and Mother’s Day, a Taylor Swift CD, warm pretzels and a cold drink. I just need to find something for my own mother. I knew exactly what to get. My father mentioned getting a historical fiction novel. I can grab that in the middle of the madness on Saturday.

Saturday

I was up and ready to go on a beautiful, glorious Saturday morning. The Boy had his baseball game. From there, we were on our way to the North Shore for my nephew’s first communion. To save time, The Oppressed went with me to watch The Boy’s game. It’s a little chilly on this glorious morning, and I suggest to my youngest daughter that she may need a jacket. She insists she’s fine. We get into the car and make our way to the baseball field, my refuge from deaf teenagers who are too busy for their chores. The land of peanuts and Cracker Jacks1.

The Oppressed and I take our seats while the young players warm up for the game. I was ready to go with Cracker Jacks in hand. Two innings into the game, The Oppressed tells me she’s cold. My mind immediately went to the conversation we had before the game regarding the weather and the potential need for a jacket. I give her my jacket and unlock the car for her. The wind is a little too much for her to handle, and she needs shelter.

“I’m fine.”

Every child who has been told to bring a coat with them
Postgame slushie

The game ends. The Boy’s team is victorious. The three of us continue on to the next part of our day. A glorious celebration of my nephew making his First Communion. We arrive at the house and see friends and family; aunts, uncles, cousins. We congratulate “B” on the day. I see my mother and give her a card. I won’t see her on Sunday, but inform her a nice little something will be arriving at her house on Mother’s Day. She has strict instructions to not do anything with the package until she calls me. Mother agrees to comply.

At the end of the day, the three of us head home. We’ll stop for food on the way and Wife has asked us to pick up some butter and chocolate chips on the way home (Lovie must want to bake again) … and ice cream… and milk… Just a few things we need.

After buying “a few things”.

I have ideas for a great place to eat. It has all of the things on the menu that meets the requirements of my two youngest children. Of course, no drive through the North Shore is complete without me stopping somewhere for beer. When I stop, the cherubs see a pizza place and my well-laid plans for dinner are suddenly torpedoed.

Beer purchased. Food procured. We’re back on the road. We make a little more time and progress before stopping at a grocery store for the “few things” we needed to pick up. We’re finally ready to go and finish our ride home. We get home. I talk to Wife, who was home with the children who slept in after prom, then retire for the evening.

Sunday

Mother’s Day had arrived! Wife received cards, flowers, and gifts. After that, there was no time to relax. We needed to be at my in-laws for a Mother’s Day brunch.

“Muskets and Minuets”
by Lindsey Fera

After the brunch, The Oppressed was excited to get home and help Wife with her gift. Wife had received a home spa kit from her youngest daughter and The Oppressed couldn’t get home fast enough to give her mother an evening of pampering. I received a phone call from my mother. An Amazon package had arrived, and she wanted to open it in front of me. She did, and she was excited when she saw a copy of “Muskets and Minuets”, a book that followed a girl living in colonial Massachusetts on the eve of the American Revolution. When the spa session had ended, The Oppressed joined me and The Boy, who were in the backyard sitting in front of a fire. The children made s’mores, and I poured a beer I bought the previous day. The fire was nice. It would be a few short hours before I had to get out of bed and get the children ready for school.

“Muskets and Minuets” is available for sale at your local bookstore and multiple websites, such as Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Reference

There were no Cracker Jacks at the concession stand. I had to bring my own. I let the nice people working the concession stand know how displeased I was about this.

When Your Child Loses a Stuffed Animal

We’re still trying to get back into the swing of things after our Washington D.C. trip. Laundry and dishes have piled back up. The children have moved on from days of walking and sightseeing to days of reading, writing and ‘rithmetic. I’ve moved back to my regimens of reading and writing.

Eight people returning from vacation means a lot of laundry. Lovie and The Oppressed are doing everything they can to stay on top of things and attend to the mountains upon mountains of dirty clothes.

The children brought their luggage and souvenirs back to their respective rooms and all of us, including me, are still going through what we brought home with us and making sure it’s in their proper places. This brings me to the crisis at hand. You see, The Oppressed is the very proud owner of two stuffed ducks, Sir Ducks-a-Lot and Quackers.

Missing Duck

Well, as she brought her stuff back to her room and getting re-adjusted with her life at home and school, my youngest daughter noticed that one of the ducks was missing. The one that was missing just so happened to be the smallest of the two.

Sir Duck-sa-Lot

This bothered The Oppressed, who was immediately concerned for Quackers’ welfare. I explained to her that things would be alright. We’ll find Quackers. This is also an excellent opportunity to square things away in her room. I told her I was certain that Quackers would turn up as we put things away and tidied up her bedroom.

Quackers

She was upset with me. I didn’t understand the gravity of the situation. I certainly didn’t understand what needed to be done. Time was of the essence, and we can’t waste it moving things around her bedroom (like she was supposed to do before Quackers went missing, anyway).

The Oppressed immediately went around the house asking all siblings if anyone has seen Quackers. Alas, no one has seen her precious duck. I wish to point out that Quackers is one of the newest additions to the bedroom of The Oppressed, so not only is Quackers new and not totally acclimated with the room or the rest of the house, Quackers is also small and scared, as mentioned before.

The “Missing” Poster

The Oppressed wasted no time in getting to work, not on picking up her room, of course, but in getting to work. She immediately made a poster to make everyone fully aware of the situation at hand, including a hand-drawn portrait of Quackers. She took a picture of Sir Ducks-a-Lot. More on that later.

She put the poster up on the refrigerator and pointed out the drawing of the duck to remind people what Quackers looked like, as well as the reward being offered for finding Quackers. That reward, originally $5, has since been raised to $5.50 and two snacks from her very own Easter basket. Again, if you are not aware of the gravity of the situation, my daughter will enlighten you.

“Missing” poster of Quackers. Note the increased reward and reminders of how scared and hungry he is.

The Picture

Back to the picture of Sir Ducks-a-Lot. Quackers is just a smaller version of SDL (I’m getting tired). The Oppressed has used this to her advantage. My daughter took a picture of SDL just in case the drawing of Quackers isn’t enough for people to go on. Also, the child has directed everyone’s attention to the refrigerator where the drawing and photo are. We hope everyone will study the drawing, the picture. She hopes everyone will take their own pictures and share them with friends, with neighbors. She hopes anyone who can help will join in her mission to bring a scared, lost duck home.

There is also a chance The Oppressed will be making a guest appearance on this website, as she is not confident that I can fully convey the magnitude and immediacy of this dire situation. Stay tuned for her message and for further developments on this story.

If you need help finding your child’s lost toy, or a replacement, visit lostmylovey.com to see if anyone has found it, or where you can purchase a new one. You can also visit multiple pages on Facebook for help with a lost friend.