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My friends call me Puddin

I have many, many nicknames. In the relatively brief span of time between my somewhat unheralded yet triumphant return home from work and the present moment, members of my family called me “Smitty”, “Dadson”, “Smitty-Daddy”, a screeching noise, “Dadster”, and “Mexico”.

My wife, the lovely Puddinette, paged my alter ego, Smitty, from the second floor shortly after dinner. Once again, the kids’ bathroom was in desperate need of some plunging. Actually, that doesn’t really do it justice. The, um, blockage, in question was significant enough that after working on it for 10 minutes, I had to retrieve the “big guns” from the garage.

Yes, that’s right; I have a varsity plunger that plays only when the game is truly on the line. It’s kind of like Judge Smailsputter, Billy Baroo . Usually, the somewhat more aesthetically friendly “apprentice” plunger that stays upstairs can accomplish the requisite task at hand. Very occasionally, though, like when there’s a logging convention at the house or an interstate trucking convoy passing through the neighborhood, only Big Bertha will get the job done. Regardless, whether it was a family of gophers living in my plumbing or the work of my dainty four year-old daughter, tonight the heavy artillery was needed.

After completing that task, I returned to the kitchen where my daughter, aka The Daughter aka Pretty, Pretty, Princess Drama, spent the next three minutes attempting to get my attention by giggling, “Smitty-Daddy, Smitty-Daddy, we need you. Good job, Smitty-Daddy.” It was on the tip of my tongue to ask her how she manages to eat an entire wheel of cheese every day without being seen and who’s paying for it, but instead I suggested she just call me Daddy if she wanted me to pay attention.

My eldest son, aka the Puddinpop aka Captain Curmudgeon, decided to call me “Dadson” just before he got into the shower for the evening. I suppose that if your child is going to create a nickname for you there are worse things than combining your given name and a form of your hard-earned parental title. He, himself, earned the moniker Captain Curmudgeon over the course of the past year, as he’s apparently now seven going-on 13. Typically, he is your normal, happy-go-lucky first grader. On occasion, though, he’ll get his underoos twisted up quite completely and spend the next hour or so muttering about the unfairness of life. Say, for instance, if I was to suggest he clean up his room, or better yet, erroneously tell him to take a bath when it is clearly his brother’s turn to go first. Such offenses result in at least an hour of sullen moping and dirty looks. I cannot wait until he’s actually 13.

I’ll have to continue this tomorrow. The UK game is on. I live in Kentucky and a fella has to have his priorities.


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