Rules of Engagement…

October 6, 2008

For the longest time, my boys and I would engage in a little hand-to-hand combat after the evening meal. The protocol was quite simple. I would leave the dinner table, walk into the living room, push some furniture out of the way, and then flop my fat-happy self down on the floor. Once my carcass hit the carpet, it would only be a matter of seconds before little boy bodies were hurling themselves at me with reckless abandon. One of the great things about being a little kid is that your skeletal structure is mostly comprised of the same material that fruit roll ups are made of. That’s to say, when you hit an inanimate object, you don’t really break, you more or less bounce. On the other hand, I have 38 years of physical abuse in the bank, 20 of which were spent in the Marine Corps which is none too forgiving on things such as knees, spinal columns, and other miscellaneous joints. I am not made of Jello. I am made of muscle and bone held together by a very fine webbing of tendons and ligaments that are about as sturdy as a single thread of cotton candy. If stretched or torqued the wrong way, I am liable to experience incredible jolts of ass-puckering pain which will likely cause me to forget my name and curse uncontrollably. But still I fight.

Why do I challenge my boys to nightly grappling matches? The number one reason is because they are still young enough for me to appear to have super human strength and a degree of invincibility. This is something they will remember all their lives, the exact reason most men believe that even though their father is 95 years old, wheelchair bound and toothless, he is still capable of unleashing a serious can of whoop-ass. The other reason I wrestle with the boys is because it is what men do. You’ve all seen monkey island at the zoo, the only difference between them and us is that Connie will not allow us to fling poo.

So the boys and I are having a nightly match. I am flat on my back and have Mack wrapped up, completely unable to move. I often wrap my legs and arms around Mack and then make him work for several minutes to free himself; this is extremely good exercise. It was while I had Mack wrapped up that Cayden decided to come to the rescue. I have talked about how tough Cayden is in past posts, but what I didn’t mention is the fact that he is the dirtiest fighter on the planet. He does not follow any rules of engagement, meaning nothing is off limits, he is in it to win it. So Cayden runs into the room and makes his approach from the direction of my feet. At this point Mack is pretty much on my head so that didn’t leave a lot of openings for Cayden to get in his cheap shots. I saw him coming, I saw him pause, and then, terrifyingly, I saw him raise his shoe-clad foot above my groin. At that point, I knew what was coming so I tried to find my happy place quickly. Graciously, Cayden waited until I found Camelot before stomping on my groin like he was putting out a camp fire. Honestly, I have seen jackhammers beat concrete into dust with more compassion than Cayden showed me that evening. I am not positive, but I think he stomped my crotch at least a dozen times in a period of 20 seconds, could have been more, but I lost consciousness somewhere in the middle of my beating. The only thing that stopped Cayden from continuing was he had gone 15 seconds beyond his internal snack alarm and needed to refuel on some simple carbs, so off he went to track down some animal-shaped crackers.

As I applied ice to my crotch, I began to question our nightly ritual. Are the boys too big, too powerful, too vicious to fight with every evening? Or am I just getting soft in my middle-agedness? I went with option two and started training for the rematch.

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Mike posted the following on October 7, 2008 at 3:26 pm.

Dude, sooner or later you will have to lay down the rules of engagement to the little MMA fighters and let them know that fighting dirty is perfectly ok and legal, and most importantly “daddy approved” in a real world situation. But when it comes to in-house hand-to-hand training/engagements, the first and foremost rule is no crotch stomping, grabbing, twisting, punching or biting. Keegan and I don’t do too much hand-to-hand in house as we take it to the Dojo twice a week and he let’s loose on all the rest of the kids thereby saving my body for the adult classes!  I think he understand that if I can obliterate all the full grown competition in the Dojo, his little 70 pound blob of bone and muscle is not going to do much to hurt me, reason number one for my main rule above.. One of the things I have learned through years of Martial Arts, hand-to-hand, street fighting, dirty fighting, bar fights, and “I am he who is in charge” is that Ibuprofen and pain relievers’ “BEFORE” training go a long way toward negating the trips to the hospital or emergency room afterward. They at least give you a day or two of “I can deal with this shit” before you actually break down and decide to go get mega-strength whale tranquilizers to deal with your boo-boos…

Pammy posted the following on October 7, 2008 at 11:55 pm.

You are definitely a glutton for punishment. It hurts my crotch just imagining what your crotch endures on a daily basis.

Connie posted the following on October 8, 2008 at 1:00 pm.

It’s all I can do to pull you guys off each other- this is definitely a ritual I may never understand.
P.S. You have been tagged! See my blog for details- can’t wait to see your answers! Or can I?
love, me

admin posted the following on October 9, 2008 at 8:16 pm.

Pammy, “It hurts my crotch just imagining what your crotch endures on a daily basis”

1. Why is my crotch and your crotch in the same sentence, proper decorum demands that they be seperated by at least a semi colon :, it’s the proper thing to do.

2. Just to clarify, groin stomping is not the nightly ritual, if it was I would have left years ago, grappling on the other hand is pretty common.

3. I hope your crotch: can get past the pain that my crotch has endured and can carry on with a happy care-free crotch existance.

admin posted the following on October 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm.

Hey Mike, thanks for the comment my friend, I guess your suggesting that I take the humiliating beatings that I endure out of the confines of my home and put them on display in a public setting, Mike no one wants to watch a 38-year old man sob as his son dances on his Go-Nuts, thanks but no thanks I’m staying out of the dojo.

Pammy posted the following on October 10, 2008 at 2:51 pm.

Get your mind out of the gutter Captain.

Mike posted the following on October 22, 2008 at 7:49 pm.

Brother man, I’m 45. Where the hell did your feeble mind come up with 38? Do I look that young? If it wasn’t for all those good drugs the military/VA gives me I might feel the 140 years old that my body tells me I am. Turn your basement into a wrestling mat and lay down some rules for the little WWF bruisers. How are the boys doing these days?

admin posted the following on October 23, 2008 at 5:57 am.

Mike, re-read I was refering to me (Me being the 38-yr old man). In regards to your age you don’t look a day over 431/2. Thats about as much of a compliment as your getting.

MrsFierceShoes posted the following on December 2, 2008 at 4:41 pm.

LMAO…SERIOUSLY… Dad used to do the same with us kids. Someone always got a finger in the eye or an elbow to the butt but good times…


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