About authorphilpartington

Phil is a writing enthusiast of many years, having been published in numerous online and national print trade and sports publications over the past decade. He has spent the past five years delving back into the world of fiction writing, focussing on the fantasy, horror and suspense genres. Deshay of the Woods is his first novel.

Welcoming Baby #4

Baby girl gremlin joined the family summer of 2017.

It’s been way too long, Utter Dadness readers. Sincerest apologies for that. If it’s any consolation, the hamsters that make me go are basically just spinning with their wheels at this point. I honestly don’t know how my wife and I have carried on these past ten months.

Let me bring you up to speed.

  1. We had another baby last summer.

And that’s it, really. I mean, that’s not it, not by a long shot, but that’s the part that matters. Most of you wouldn’t be able to read beyond that anyway; your jaws are most likely dragging against the carpet as we speak. Free tip, don’t use them as a dust pan.

But really, after having three children in relatively rapid succession, people started looking at us like we were Amish. With four…they give us a wide berth.

Having four children where we live definitely changes things. Folks give you free used stuff all the time. They don’t even ask. It’s because they assume that, 1) with so many children, everything you own is broken, and 2) you are poor.

They’re not wrong, and combining our daily lunches with dinners (“linners”) is starting to sound more and more tempting.

But for our part we did get our girl, though that wasn’t the reason behind wanting four children[i]. She is a fantastic baby, who doesn’t cry unless there’s reason for it, smiles at the sight of you, laughs and coos and is otherwise completely false advertisement for how she’ll end up being during her formidable teenage years.

Four children also means no food in the house. Ever. If we are five minutes late for dinner, the two-year-old sits in his chair and starts gnawing on the table. The six-year-old out-eats everyone, and the four-year-old finishes his entire plate and then seconds of whatever green stuff is there before telling us he doesn’t like it. I used to wonder how Garfield, the cartoon cat of the 80s and 90s, could eat an entire lasagna in one bite, dish and all. Watching my oldest eat, it now seems less far-fetched.

So yes, we are Amish now…or at least really busy, and that isn’t likely to change.

I have been posting YouTube videos of some guitar songs I’ve written over the years—an attempt to find another creative outlet to temper the stress of it all. The only problem is, most of my guitar playing comes after midnight, as it’s the only free time I really have. So, between guitar playing and sleep, I opt for guitar, and I’m not even sorry.

I hope to be able to post more consistently about our crazy lives with four kids. In the meantime, here’s to another year of chaos and many more to follow.

[i] The real reasons being the calling to have another child, the want for even numbers of kids, delusion and foolishness, etc.

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Original Song: “October”

Defiantly posted in November, in spite of its name. Hope you enjoy. The lyrics are below.

Lyrics

Can you follow the rhythm of my heart?
It’s tearing apart
So what if you were to stay?

Fire leaves parachuting in the breeze
Doesn’t help my grieving
I just wish you weren’t away

I can feel the raindrops falling down
I can see the trees empty their leaves
October’s blankets are covering the ground
And I wonder what’s left for me

I’m sorry that I left you all alone
A lone leaf on the road
Hoping it won’t rain
I’m sorry for the things you couldn’t know
Like that I loved you so
But now it’s too late for grace

I can feel the raindrops falling down
I can see the trees empty their leaves
October’s blankets are covering the ground
And I wonder what’s left for me

I don’t feel you anymore, but I still see my eyes in yours
So could you fit into my life?
I’ve been wearily insecure. You always left me wanting more
Despite distractions I have tried

I remember seeing you in your room
It was a Tuesday afternoon
And your love carried me away
And I sang
I’d come after you
I’d find you someday
But for now I’m missing you

Original Song: “Whiskey Love”

Not specifically about parenting but, then again, some days call for whiskey. Nope, this song is more an anthem of my younger, dumber years, with a hint of sarcasm thrown in.

Don’t forget to check out my YouTube channel, like, follow and share to feed my neediness :P.

Enjoy!

Here are the lyrics:

There are some days
Things don’t seem to go my way
And I start getting so down
Then I take a shot or two
And suddenly I feel like new
And I don’t feel so down, so down

I keep the pace
Staggering along the way
Just trying to get around
But I’m not grateful, I’m not smooth
Especially with all this booze
And I start falling down to the ground

And even though this is so very wrong
I’m kidding myself if I don’t think that I’m going on
Because I’m trying to do this night right
So raise your glass above and give your whiskey love

I’m king of the hill and cream of the crop
And I’ll keep chugging on
I won’t never stop
The night is young and so am I
And I’ve got the desire
Cool me down, I’m so hot I’m on fire

But tomorrow’s gonna roll
And that alarm clock’s gonna go
And while this drinking don’t make much sense
In my defense, I’m not thinking ’bout the consequence

I’ve got my pains, and I’ve got my problems
I don’t need no helping hand
I just need someone to solve ’em
And I’ve played host to many ghosts
And the demons have been testin’
Hold me down, I need my whiskey blessing

And even though my memory will be gone
I’ll be bringing down the house with my whiskey song
Cause I’m trying to do this night right
So raise your glass above and give your whiskey love

But tomorrow’s gonna roll
And that alarm clock’s gonna go
But that’s tomorrow, so just raise your glass
Give the night some love and let’s kick some whiskey ass!

Original Song: “Don’t Wake the Two-Year-Old”

Wrote a song a while back about my then two-year-old (now four) and how he struggles to wake up in the morning. Hope you enjoy. Lyrics are below.

You can also check out my YouTube channel.

Lyrics by Phil Partington

It’s 6 a.m. You try to sleep in
But with the sunrise, a child creeps in-
Side your room and as sure as snot
You’re utterly doomed

But thankfully, the toddler still sleeps
For morning time brings out the beast
With fingers crossed, you dare to take a peek
And suddenly sneeze

Don’t wake the two-year-old
He breathes fire out past his cheeks
Gets in your mind. Twists your dreams.
Makes you cry. Makes you scream.

There ain’t no monster under his bed.
He scratched and clawed it, till it was dead.
With beady eyes and gnarled teeth,
My two-year-old is the monster you see.

It’s time to hide.
This is no place for foolish pride.
Your heroism will not fly this time.

No time for myself.
I need a nap like nothing else.
And when he grows up, I hope to hell
He has four like himself.

Don’t wake the two-year-old
He breathes fire out past his cheeks
Gets in your mind. Twists your dreams.
Makes you cry. Makes you scream.

Don’t wake the two-year-old.

 

 

Utter Updates

Just a quick check in. It’s been ages since I’ve written here — sorry for that. I have some good excuses! For one, we added another little one to the mix. That’s right. Our flock just got one bigger…this time a girl! That means we have a six, four and two-year-old, as well as a newborn. I know there are others who have more young kids than that, perhaps even under more strenuous of circumstances, but screw you…we think this is hard :).

Anyway, Utter Dadness is back, or at least that’s the plan. Be on the lookout for more activity once again and thanks for your patience.

A Dad’s Christmas Reflection

Christmas is a time where we celebrate the intrusion of a fat stranger in a red jump suit.

Christmas is a time where we celebrate the intrusion of a fat stranger in a red jump suit into our home who doesn’t even use the front door.

Now that I’m a parent and the innocence of childhood has left me like last night’s “taco surprise” dinner, I find myself wondering about the tradition that is Santa Claus. Don’t get me wrong, I adore Christmas. Love pretty much everything about it—the traditions, the smells, the sights. I don’t even care that it’s reached a stage of commercialism that’s made the Hilton sisters seem like minimalists.

But Santa Claus. As the kids say: WTF?

Three hundred and sixty four days of the year we put the fear of God into our young ones about not talking to strangers, not accepting candy or gifts from strangers, and not to ever open the door and let one into your house without the presence and permission of a parent. Yet Christmas is a time where we celebrate the intrusion of one such stranger: a jolly fat man in a red jump suit, who comes with the promise of toys and candy. And not even through the front door, which–if he’s truly welcome–would make the most sense. Nope, he’s going to slide down the chimney while you sleep, and this after watching you for a year’s time–when you’re sleeping…when you’re awake…when you’ve been bad…

I’ve also often wondered how, if Santa carries around enough coal for all the bad kids, how does he keep his gloves and beard so snowy white?

And where does he leave these presents, the children ask? Under the carcass of a tree you’ve erected in your living room meant as a kind of totem representing joy and love and peace, that’s been ordained in lights and glass balls and candy canes and bells, made visible through your living room window as a warning to all the other trees to stop discarding their God-forsaken pine needles into your gutters.

In spite of all this, however, I won’t stop with these traditions. I love these traditions, but I’m fairly certain it’s yet another way that I’m setting my kids up for permanent scarring. I’m making a game out of it: when I hit fifty ways, I treat myself to a chocolate bar.

Honestly, though, I lurve Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday of all, which is absurd because it’s the most stressful, busiest, most expensive, coldest of holidays, and drives the kiddies to a mental state of a Minion on methamphetamines.

The meeting of Santa Claus is what it’s all about, though. I’m not talking about mall Santa, where they charge you a kidney and the soul of your first born in exchange for a photo. We don’t waste our time with those. We visit the Santa Claus at a quaint tree nursery in a small, rural town. The dynamics of the interchange is fascinating. My oldest, who’s five and already well-versed in the art of filibustering, went first. He climbed up on Santa’s lap without hesitation and laid out the details of the two presents he wanted most, what each button of the toys did, the backstory of one of them–a crime-fighting vessel of sorts–and which local stores featured current deals on the product. He even offered a third option in the case that these toys were too expensive.

Santa, not understanding any of this, gasped and said, “Well, that is a lot to ask for—have you really been that good?”

My heart sunk. I knew even before the words escaped his beard-covered lips the mistake he had made.

My oldest started with a deep breath—this is always a bad sign—and continued in elaborate detail the events of the past week where he had been particularly good, and then the one event he could recall where he was not-so-good.

Santa, still not really understanding anything he said like his parents who’d had become well-verse in five-year-old slur, smiled and said, “I’ll have to check my list.”

This interchange took precisely eleven minutes and forty-seven seconds, just long enough for the eighteen-month-old to lose all interest and want to hone in on as many expensive glassware in the store that he could.

My middle child was next in line. His interaction with Santa lasted precisely eleven-point-forty-seven seconds,  with his shoulders sunk forward and his eyes directed at his own shoes.

“Do you want to sit on Santa’s lap, little boy?”

Silence. Not even a squeak. My son was playing dead.

The youngest didn’t even last that long before releasing the strident tears meant to alarm passersby of the impending horror upon him–a creature so foul that it must have been sent to this earth by the Dukes of Hell, and hell-bent on removing his brains with a metal funnel and rubber tubing only to insert its own dark conscience into the body with the purpose of walking the earth as an imposter.

So I really have no idea what an eighteen-month-old’s imagination is capable of, so I improved.

Christmas is a strange holiday. Really, it’s bat-turd bizarre, but it’s also fantastic and so I’d like to wish each and every one of you a truly merry day of decorating dead trees and inviting fat men in red jump suits to break and enter your cozy abode.

Or, if you don’t celebrate the holiday, have a great Sunday.