Friday, October 30, 2009

Here, Dad

After spending most of my marriage kicking against the brick that is hunting, I have finally embraced it. I look forward to it as a time for me to learn useless things about myself, and even about life. Here is my list of Hunting Lessons by Day for 2009.

1. I am a better mother when Ty is gone. I pay attention to my children, I plan fun activities with my children, and I enjoy the company of my children when I am not distracted by the pursuit of meaningful adult conversation/making out. I go to bed feeling self-righteous.

2. After 48 hours, I am no longer a better mother when Ty is gone. I AM more humble, though. I dream about Ty all night.

3. On the third day of hunting I begin to get angry. I start to think that I don't like my husband, after all. Wild thoughts race through my deranged mind, and I second-guess every happy marriage memory. I do not recall what, exactly, Mr. Shuman looks like, but am pretty sure he has cold black eyes and a wicked grin. Everything is his fault.

4. Next, I experience a deep shame and regret for my fickle loyalty. I spend the fourth day on the phone, leaving sappy messages Ty will never hear (because he doesn't know the code for his voice mail) and flipping through photo albums. Tears drip down my alabaster (yep) cheeks, and I am completely useless.

We have yet to find out what happens after day four, for we find it best if Ty is only gone two days at a time. Just enough time for us to have a happy (but not desperate) reunion.

Ty came home victorious this year, so I was able to squeeze a few more lessons out of Hunting Season, 2009:

1. Children are a little confused and traumatized by all the excitement over a severed animal head in the back of their father's truck. It makes for very interesting bedtime conversation ("Why Daddy cut off that elk's...neck?" or "That deer have 'sgusting legs, Mom!").

2. Children are resilient. Give them 20 minutes and they can make a game out of anything: touch the elk and run, screaming, toward the house. Turn around. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat.

3. Elk bleed. A lot. Mostly all over your husband's good jeans. Never on your husband's hunting
clothes. It's some sort of hunting phenomenon. Fortunately, with plenty of soaking and stain-removal product (and very feminine dry-heaving over the washing machine), elk blood is NOT the last word in fashion.

4. Hunting is the gift that keeps on giving. I just scored a new roommate, who is set to take up residence in my living room this spring (who knew stuffing an elk takes six months?). Meet Vladimir the elk head. Hopefully the taxidermist will put the tongue back in its mouth to give it some dignity. I won't have an undignified elk sticking out of my wall. (This is the part where this post is for my dad, cause he wanted me to post pictures of Ty's trophy):

5. Hunting is an investment. In what, I'm not sure. It's going to take many more lessons to unlock that mystery. All I know is Vladimir cost more than my car, and with his lack of legs and cup holders he isn't near as useful (as a car).

So, if you find yourself mystified by your man's desire to murder majestic creatures, look to me for advice. I think I've finally got hunting whipped.


Elisabeth (and Tyler) said...

I can NOT stop laughing, and I think it's because although my Ty's not hunting, he is out of town.. and I've gone through the same stages as you, minus the being a better mother. I'm a worse housewife right off the bat.. I eat cereal and ice cream every night for dinner. He'll be home in the morning (without anything to show for his trip) and I'll be cleaning all night.. Just to trick him.

The Kelly Variety said...

Wow, You are the "WIFE" a new roommate! I'd have to set the roommate up in a nice cozy garage! What a lucky man you have: clean jeans and a roommate!

Rozel said...

Holy Elk Head Batman! Is the Vladamir going in the upstairs or downstairs living room?

Amy Jason said...

You are too funny! You make me laugh out loud when I am reading your blog all by myself. I love it. Good job to Ty for getting such a huge Elk! You are a REALLY nice wife to add it to your home decor! Much better than I!! Is hunting season over now? Too bad we don't live closer so that Ty could take Jason and Bjorn hunting. Bjorn wants to go soooo bad, ever since we got the Cabella's hunting game for the Wii. Jason has never been before. Maybe they will take it up sometime, but for now, we hunt while sitting on our nice comfy couch, in our warm little house, with no sign of blood on our clothes:) That will have to do for a while.

sharlee said...

Funny girl. I love that first picture of your kids. That elk is HUGE! It's head alone is bigger than any of your kids.

Marianne said...

I love it! That elk is awesome! Joel was hoping for one this year, but decided not to even try because of the thought of having to drag it down a mountain. His time will come, and maybe one day we'll have our own Vladimir hanging on our living room wall.

Have I told you how much I love your sense of humor?

Marianne said...

P.S.- We would love to come and visit you guys! Now may not be the best time since the swine flu decided to take up residence in our house (you have an elk, we have a virus). As soon as we're all healthy and Joel has a day off that we can swing up there, we'll do it!

Stephanie said...

All I can say is that you are a better wife than me. If I had a dead elk head hoisted upon my wall, I think I'd do more than dry-heave over the washer. Luckily, Andy is not a hunter.

Emily said...

I literally LOL'ed at Hunting lesson #1. Your Hunting Lessons are very similar to my Scout Camp Lessons, but I enjoy taking my kids out to eat or just feeding them cold cereal 3 times a day a little too much. Day 4, 5 or 6 usually find me running home to my mom. :)

That is a big head. So, you'll be posting lots of venison recipes now huh?

The United Statements of Merica said...

Now don't go hogging all of the learning experiences. Give Ty a chance by going on a "hunting" trip of your own. I'm sure you could come up with some thing as impressive, or at least as expensive (Pottery Barn is my favorite hunting ground) to add to the living room. You'll deffinately need a truck and a few 'Bucks" (a little hunting humor).

side note: When I was a kid, I felt really left out when the boys (dad, uncles, brother, cousins) would go to the cabin for the annual hunting trip. I begged to be able to go. My dad was so nice to let me one year, but not before I learned how to use a gun. When we got to our shooting practice destination and set up cans, I did not want to participate. My dad insisted (forced me) to shoot the gun. I bawled histarically as I pulled the trigger.. fell on my bony rear end, and humbly requested NOT to go hunting with the boys

Mardee Rae said...

I cannot tell you how much I love this post. And Vlad. Welcome to the family Vlad.

T-licious D-zire and C-hillins said...

Oh, the emotions of a mom left alone with her children!!! Your honesty is refreshing and relatable....and hilarously well put! I am glad you're learning so much, and sharing it with us :)

The Peterson Family said...

Maybe I should be thankful that my hubby golfs instead of hunts. It is not bloody and his trophies can't stare back at me.