21 December 2010

The Inquisition

Recently, an inquisition ensued at my house that made the whole Spanish one look like a tiny religious squabble.

When you have five children all under the age of eight, and someone or something is:

a) broken
b) missing
c) hurt by "mysterious" circumstances

our house conducts a special United States Senate Subcommittee Investigation into what may have initiated said incident. This is how it went down:

I was in my basement doing a one hour trainer ride, when all of a sudden from upstairs I hear wifey in a VERY loud voice ask "Who put water in the soap?"


Seconds later... "Who put water in the soap?"


Now, I should preface that putting water in the soap dispenser is a very small problem. It is a very small problem if it happens once. After four or five times without the apprehension of a suspect, the Chief of Police at my house (wifey) has had just about enough. You see, as wifey likes to explain to me—because I often need explaining—soap is expensive. And because we like to live life green, wifey buys soap that is good for the environment. This soap happens to be a little pricer than  most  normal,"continue to kill our planet" varieties. As an aside, I should tell you that for some reason little girls particularly enjoy dispensing soap and rubbing it all over the sink in the bathroom, on the vanity, countertops, (you get the idea). Even at the local YMCA, my girls can not help themselves with the bubbly hand sanitizer. Perhaps the little ladies have some sort of unhealthy tactile fascination with the slippery stuff, but they just can not seem to leave the stuff alone.  I am suddenly imagining stumbling upon an incriminating picture of my girls years from now on  Facebook on spring break somewhere—unbeknownst to wifey and I—at one of those cheesy, touristy bars with a soap machine, getting lathered up while drinking cheap swill that the natives likes to pass as beer. Wonderful! Moving on....

My wife calls all of them into the living room at which time she starts her diatribe about the cost of soap, how hard mommy and daddy work to buy things, and even the obligatory "... and shut the lights out when you leave your room. Don't you know we don't own the electric company?" As a child, I always found this a bit odd. Even if you did own the electric company, wouldn't you still have to pay for the service provided? But I digress.

The response: Five little round faces with cherub-like gazes looked back at my wife with nothing but innocence and astonishment. First—how does this witch know I put water in the soap. Secondly, what will the punishment be if I should come forward and admit to this heinous, vile, insolent act?!
So, we sat around for five minutes waiting for someone to confess. Nothing. So, wifey decided to play hardball. "Okay—no t.v. or movies until the person who did admits to it." Still nothing.  We got some shifty eyes from the twins. Very shifty. So, we can not p unish everyone indefinitely, but they will have to go without their coveted Scooby Doo and Dora the Explorer until Christmas morning—which might as well be an eternity for them. We've been doing a tad more reading around the ole' house this week.

Speaking of reading, Luca and I are now on book 3 of the Harry Potter series. We are reading them together. They are a fantastic read for both him and me. I realized something about reading books to my children. My philosophy with toys has always been:

If I am going to sit down and play with toys for hours with my children, it better be something that I actually want to play as well. That is why Luca and Julian are into building lego models. I love building Legos with the boys. I actually think Legos are one of the coolest toys in the galaxy. Julian will literally spend hours building Lego models following, what he refers to as "the map." So, Harry Potter is fun to read because it is well written. If I have to read one more Berstein Bear, or Arthur book I think I may just go crazy.

We took my wifey's parents out for dinner on Friday. They sure do a lot for us. With five kids, they were our primary source of childcare this past semester, year, lifetime... as wifey and I were busy with some professional obligations. We would never be able to swing it if it were not for them and the help of family and friends. Here are a few of the delicious eats we had with explanations. Try not to drool:

Oysters on the half shell
Rock shrimp and calamari in deliciousness with daikon radish and field greens
Wifey's tina roll
The Vino

I am not that evil, so I will not post the main courses, but they were might yummy!

Oh yeah... TRAINING:

I could not be happier with my progress thus far. I feel fit, and ready to go. The bikes are a little behind where I would like them right now. I am just starting to get into the swing of biking again and my legs are asking the rest of my body what the hell is going on. Nothing like being in your basement on a trainer for the remainder of the winter. And, luckily for me, winter in western New York is only a mere 9 months long!  Coach Mary has me training to keep my HR in zone 2 on my runs and bike. I am finding it extremely difficult on my runs because of my ego, and because I am not incredibly patient. I mean, what the heck do I do on my runs? Walk?? So, this week has me doing endurance runs no longer than an hour.

I am currently in love with swimming. What the heck?!!! I have been doing these great swim workouts that I am really excited about. Essentially, Coach Mary is giving me swims that are far beyond what I can do in an hour. There is something really liberating about knowing that I can not get it done. For some reason, when the pressure is off to motor, it happens anyway.

I think I am going to do a 7.5 mile race on New Year's morning (pending Coach Mary's approval). I am alaso looking forward to doing a "location run" when I head out to Seattle the beginning of January to hear the premiere of my new piece "Chromium Music" by The Tangletown Trio. Word on the street is that there are some awesome places for seafood in the Pacific Northwest. You don't say?

More soon. Train Smart!


Dani F said...

Love reading about the gang and you. Their silent support of one another is impressive :) Where do you find the time to train in three sports, teach, and compose new pieces of music? How exciting — a premier on the west coast. Congratulations in advance.

Caratunk Girl said...

Holy cow, they really stick together huh? That is actually pretty cool. Don't tell your wife I said that, I want to watch Modern Family. :)

That food looks awesome, you can't get any fish that isn't fried at restaurants around here.

Sounds like training is going awesome! Cool. LIKE swimming? Like, in a pool? ha ha I am liking it better too now, it is weird, I used to really not like it.

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

I was cracking up at you describing soap in the water ..lol

Bike legs are a little soft here too buddy - darn trainer is start to get some serious use though so that will be remedied quickly!

Sounds like a very cool trip to SEA coming up, couldn't that group land a gig in say Miami in January?

Jason said...

Food looks so good that my stomach just grumbled big time.

And the fact that your kids stuck together is kinda awesome.

Meredith said...

My husband puts water in the liquid soap when it runs low because he thinks it extends the life of it. Just drives me nuts! Maybe I should take away his Dora the Explorer for a week. :)

Velma said...

The kid story made me laugh - sounds like our house :) Have a great run!

Molly said...

oh my, I laughed out loud at the girls gone soap wild visual. My kids are weird about toothpaste, the sink always looks like it's covered with dinner mints.

your trip sounds fab!

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Congrats on the premiere and your newfound love of swimming! Seattle is a great place to visit.

Heather said...

Oh, this story with your children made me laugh! mostly because I can relate. I can tell you that the soap & water thing is definitely not just a girl thing...my boys do the same thing! I catch them in the act, if I didn't they'd surely tell on one another...that is pretty funny that your children stuck together like that!! watch out! :)

Christi said...

Wow, that is a strong buch of kiddos!


You know, to go really green, don't use soap at all. It may cause other things to turn green, but what the heck

Kacie Darden said...

Seriously, they are some tough kids! Impressive they stick together!

Great post!

Aimee said...

Ha ha..that is too funny about the soap inquisition!

I'm glad to hear that your training, especially your swimming, is going well!
Have a great Christmas! :)

Kiersten said...

There is definitely a soap fixation! I go crazy when a big bottle of shampoo/body wash mysteriously gets water mixed in....and I only have two munchkins!

Kelly said...

So funny, Mark. Have you noticed that the most severe punishments often punish the parents more than the kids??
Also, this post reminds me why I am glad I don't have girls...

Colleen said...

That's so funny! You're wife is definitely the head of that group isn't she! The kids are going to be super excited on Christmas now... gifts AND tv! :)

Yay for the great training! Love hearing that you are loving swimming! Not many of us can say that!

Medievalist said...

dude, this post was hilarious. Sorry I was a bit incoherent on the phone last night. I'm thinking about the resolution run too - pending on how the next few days of running go. Could be fun - and an automatic PR. Don't know how many 7.5 mile races there are...freebie PRs are always great. Merry Christmas!