Go Ask Daddy about baby multiples, mustache machinations and the trappings of a finicky existence

you gotta be joking
You gotta be joking …

This week has given me new news to hate and reminders of old news that I still hate.

GAD GRAPHICSo extensive is my disdain for the decision to suspend USWNT goalkeeper Hope Solo for six months – and terminate her contract – that I rattled off a topper to this week’s Go Ask Daddy in defense.

I started to bang out a list of people who deserve harsh words more than Hopey.

I got to 35, and saw the word count bulge to 600+ – and I hadn’t even gotten to my kids’ questions! I contained all the vitriol, and will continue the thought for Monday’s post. You’ve been warned.

Don’t worry – you probably didn’t make the list.

Unless you’re responsible for Adam Levine’s animal noises in the midst of Maroon 5 songs or you designed the Cleveland Browns’ new uniforms. Oh, the reminder news I hate? It’s been 10 years since Pluto’s demotion to dwarf planet.

That’s messed up, right? I want to carry a Sharpie and draw in Pluto on revised solar-system maps. I’ll even depict it bigger than Jupiter in protest.

It’s the worst decision in science since they decided to take McDonaldland cookies out of Happy Meals.

1. How many babies are in quintuplets?

photo credit: Band-tailed Pigeon (Patagioenas fasciata) via photopin (license)

It’s five – the same number of planets that should come after the asteroid belt.

They’re also called quints. I’m pretty sure a pack of quints is called a scrum. Can you imagine? Dirty diapers, hungry bellies, and fights for teenage bathroom real estate – times five. This family in Texas had the first set of all-girl quints last year. Of course, Texas.

Their mom said she began training when she learned she was pregnant, to prepare for the monster birthday. She even maintained a 4,500-calorie diet.

Which means I could totally have quints right now.

2. Do they have Star Wars Build a Bear?

Have them, they do, as Yoda would say.

Star Wars Build-A-Bears for Finn and Rey are, well, bears, of course. Finn is a black bear, amusingly. (So is Poe Dameron, so there’s that.) Or maybe you get to decide what color to make your bear when you get on site. I’m digging the Stormtrooper bear.

There’s also classic Star Wars Build-A-Bears, including Princess Leia, Darth Vader, and R2-D2. I don’t mind Star Wars renditions of not-usually-Star-Wars stuff, so long as it’s authenticish. A Greedo or IG-88 Star Wars Build-A-Bear would be stellar.

Build-A-Bear isn’t for the middle class. I’m glad you guys got your B-A-B time in, though, when you were little. Watching you kiss the heart before they stitched it up inside your bear? Purely awesome. Kind of gives a kid a glimpse into what we feel like as parents.

Only we don’t get to kiss your heart.

3. Why don’t women have facial hair?

facial hair
photo credit: When fashion and dress sense have no meaning. via photopin (license)

Geez. This one’s embarrassing to look up at work. (Pretty sure a designer walked by and saw it on my screen. My Creep Index: 10. So I just called up the Wikipedia page on Stradivarius to keep on my display. Distinguished gentleman index: 2. (I do have two Darth Vaders on my desk. Only so much I can do.) )

Blame it on androgens. That’s the hormone we fellas carry way more than women do. It gives us whiskers on our lip first, then cheeks, then chin. When we’re growing it out, we look like molting geese who’ve been tumble-dried with the world’s lintiest socks.

My beard comes out mostly gray, so when I grow out some chin music, I look like Michael McDonald, circa 1985. It doesn’t match. Turns out, it’s because the hair follicles on our faces fade out quicker than the ones on our head. Eventually, I’ll be full-on Kenny Rogers.

4. Do cities have official colors?

Some are unofficially official.

Pittsburgh’s sports teams – the Steelers, Pirates and Penguins – share a black-and-gold color scheme. The city’s crest features black and gold (also, a lion, a chained-up antelope and a stork, but that’s neither here nor there.) Toronto teams sport mainly blue.

Miami has splashes of colors common to Floridian gaudiness, with teals and oranges. The Miami Heat’s black-and-red scheme could use some infused Florida flash. Outside of sports teams, cities do have a color palette – and it’s nothing contrived. Check it out.

5. What’s persnickety?

photo credit: Tired of sitting still. via photopin (license)

Persnickety means you pay attention to stuff that doesn’t matter.

Call it careful. I call it narrow-minded. Tunnel-visioned. A set expectation of what’s important, only, the things found important likely fit well in the trivial bucket. Not that I’m judge and jury for what’s left in and what’s left out.

I do think part of being a good teammate is having a teammate’s back, even if she’s not at her best. Tactically or verbally.

I do think kids make mistakes and realize their mistakes, and don’t need a grownup to always yell at them because they know they’ve made the mistake.

I do think Star Wars in the mainstream makes a purist like me squirm a little – but if it means more people can enjoy what we love, I’m good with that.

I do think a city’s landmarks and clichés and touristy spots help identify it – but finding the town’s best mom-and-pop pizza joint shows me more about its color than anything.

I do think Hope Solo will be missed. And we’ve done a great disservice to her, and her team, and girls’ soccer overall. You needn’t be perfect to have worth and a place.

And I do think Pluto’s a planet. Dwarf planet, my arse.

persnickety quote


  1. ksbeth says:

    i am on board with a diet to support triplets then and am simply empathizing with those who are about to deliver the trio.)

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      if we don’t stand up (or sit down to dinner, as it were), who will?

  2. stomperdad says:

    That decision pissed off a lot people. Dwarf planet! They just made that up because they don’t want Pluto hangin’ with the cool kids. I’m with you on the whole Hope thing… sounds like she’s just having some trouble she needs to get sorted though both on and off the field.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Hope, *and* Pluto. Who the hell thought it was so bright to dispossess Pluto? Bastards.

      I think Hope’s fine, on and off the field. she mouthed off after the worst loss of her career. Cam Newton did it. Dennis Green did it and my girls will probably do it. I love them all dearly.

      1. stomperdad says:

        John McEnroe mouthed off all the time, too. Nobody dispossessed him. Now Pluto is a verb… Did Hope get Plutoed?

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        Yes, to Pluto as a verb! Man I’ve been Plutoed before. Wheels are spinning over here, Eric.

  3. Rorybore says:

    I don’t know a lot about soccer…. but I do know sexism when I see it!!! I have a very strong and sneaky suspicion poor Hope was sent solo because she is outspoken about the wage gap between men and women’s soccer!! Do I condone unprofessional outburst? Certainly not – but sh*t happens sometimes and it’s hardy a crime that deserved that punishment — especially after what? More than 15 years of service and dedication to the sport? Criminal decision!
    *flips a table*

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I can’t prove sexism, Les, but it does look shitty. Her wage-gap stance probably didn’t help.

      Haven’t we all had unprofessional outbursts? Haven’t we all spouted off on emotion, whether we regret it or not. Without Hope Solo, the USWNT becomes quite ordinary.

      1. Rorybore says:

        Definitely more ordinary – though certainly of course we’d LOVE to see more girls obtaining that level of skill and sportmanship. But I can’t help but think of the all the male athletes that have done actually Criminal!! action and received far less punishment. They get rap videos for goodness sake and “street cred” – like come on. It makes a gal just want to give up.

      2. Eli Pacheco says:

        On a cool note for gender equality, the school where Madison plays? Women’s soccer is their thing. They set up homecoming according to that team. I love that.

  4. mocadeaux says:

    I sent you my son’s rant about the Hope Solo situation. He is firmly in your camp. This same son had a set of quintuplets in his classes throughout school. Four girls and a boy. And they have another daughter who is 2 years older than the quints. Six kids in two years. While my kids were young, if I ever felt overwhelmed, I would think about the quints and their parents and figure if they could handle 6, I could handle 2. The family has become dear friends of ours and we are attending the wedding of one of the quints on Saturday.

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      I loved the rant! Spot on, too. Good to have some support. When you’re quints, you’re automatic celebrities. They’re kind of inspirational.

      When Grace gets sugared up, I imagine two of her. Or three. Never more than that.

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