Thursday, November 29, 2007

Could Be Worse.....

I hate it when people say this. I'm having a crappy week. The washer/dryer blew up. The car's gotta have a new alternator. Lucy has to work on our anniversary (Dec 1st makes 6 years married thank you thank you). Top it all off I got offered some sweet overtime, but had to turn it down cause I gotta fix the car so I can get to work on Monday. Sure I could take it to the mechanic and get the OT, but the money I made would be spent on his labor costs. Anyway's I got all this going on an then somebody has to open their trap and say "Could be worse.."followed by some long winded story about something that doesn't involve me or my problems.

How is this supposed to help? You want to know what will help? You telling me how bad I have it and stroking my ego.

I want to hear "Wow that sucks" not "It could be worse my friend just got hit by a bus full of pit bulls that got taken away from Michael Vick and then the pit bulls got loose and ate him"

I want to hear "You're just having a bad week. Next week will be better." Not "It could be worse my aunt went sunbathing last week after eating a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. When she woke up her big toe was missing. Apparently she had spilt some jelly on her foot, laid her blanket on a bed of flesh eating ants, one thing led to another and the next thing you know it was goodbye big toe."

The only thing that "Could make it worse" would be to hear you tell me how worse it could be and me getting sentenced to life in the pen on a murder rap cause you're "helpful story" was the straw that broke this camels back.

Oh well!! Guess it could be worse..

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers (Part II)

"Well sweetie, if you have to ask if you need stitches.then you probably do."

That was Lucy's response to my mumbled question. Mumbled partially because of my fat lip and partially because of the ball of toilet paper I had covering it.

What is it with headbutting that kids find so fascinating. They all do it. At some point slinging your head back like a wrecking ball becomes an adrenaline rush. And like that wrecking ball swinging aimlessly towards some unknown target, nothing is off limits to the headbutt.

"Oh look at that!! I flung my head backwards and landed on a pillow. Yippiee"
"Ha this time I landed flat on the floor!!"
"Broke my daddy's nose with that one. He should have been paying closer attention I guess."
"Daddy why is your tooth buried 2 inches into your bottom lip? Never mind time for another headbutt. Weeeeeeee"

I thought he was supposed to have a soft spot up there somewhere? I look like I just got back from Fight Club (Oh sorry!! Forget I said that. I always get that first rule wrong!!) and he's wondering if he can use his hammer head to create an escape hatch out his room and into the backyard.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thanksgiving Leftovers (Part 1)

It could have been the mounds of turkey consumed. It could have been the complete exhaustion brought on from driving all over Tarnation (yep I just quoted Yosemite Sam) eating meal after meal after desert after meal. It could be that our house is haunted by a ghost only Fred can see. If my knowledge of ghosts is correct (by knowledge I mean everything I've learned from Ghost Whisperer and Quantum Leap) when kids are young they have the ability to see spirits because the haven't learned that such things "couldn't possibly exist".  In other words they haven't been tainted with the poison of what us adults think is impossible. In Fred's 20 month mind anything can happen at any time. There is no such thing as "can't happen"

Ghostly Experience #1: As I said we were all hopped up on turkey, laying on the couch, Fred playing with his bucket-o-toys in front of us. Suddenly he turns toward the dark hallway leading to the back of the house and shouts "NO!!!!"

Weird I know. Then he does it again "NOOOOOOOOOO!!!"

One more time. "SID NOOOOOOOO!!"

The whole time shaking his finger pointing fist in the air as he scolded the unseen visitor.

It gets freakier..

Ghostly Experience #2: Next day, Lucy at work, Fred and I took a shower so we would be ready for some heavy shopping the second Mommy got home. I open the shower door to the sound of "Hey Guys!!" The exact phrase Lucy uses to greet us every time she comes in from being gone somewhere.

Except it was 4:30.not 5:15...which is the time she gets home...

So I think it's just me hearing things, I shrug it off, and that's when Fred belts out


But Mommy was not there.Mommy was at work...and we were at home.standing naked..... in front of a ghost.... that we could not see!!!

Monday, November 19, 2007

2nd Shift Nightmare

Of course it's Thanksgiving week and for some odd reason I've been doing a lot of thinking about daycare. Not you're everyday 6-6 daycare, but those that cater to parents who work at night. Lucy mentioned something about one a few months ago and ever since then images of the place have been swirling in my head like some nightmare alternate universe. It's funny the ways people torture themselves for no apparent reason. When I was kid I used to have a nightmare about my family being kidnapped by a band of Satan never ended well for anyone. The bad part of having such a vivid imagination is that sometimes the worlds you create aren't always filled with rainbows and cartoon characters.

For some reason I got it in my head that the 2nd shift daycare lay along my route home. Everything's dark now at 5:00 and the buildings tend to blend together like images from a Munch painting. I'd pass a not so familiar building and think "there they are". Those poor families dropping their kids off for the night. As I created this world filled with sleepy old widows quietly knitting afghans, I switch and begin the torture process. A buyout at the office doesn't go in my favor, the economy tanks leaving Lucy working two jobs...the only work I can get is at night. We have no choice but to send Fred to 2nd shift daycare. We play with him for a couple hours during the day, but we've got to sleep sometime. Never together at the same place at the same time we develop this continuous argument that travels from phone conversation to phone conversation. And then there's 2nd shift daycare. Dark, empty (not many kids go there at night), just a handful of people huddled together in a large auditorium. Maybe a college kid trying to pay their tuition, barely looking up from their pre-cal book. There are no cartoons on the tube at night so they sit and watch the same Barney video over and over and over till the kids go to sleep more from boredom than anything else. No fun is had. Nobody is excited to be there like the kids that flood the halls during the day. Nothing is learned except life is hard.

The best part is that in a flash it's over. The whole thing lasts a micro-second yet I'm left with a feeling of relief. My life is nothing like anything I could ever imagine. Daycare lasts from 8-5 and there's always time to play with Fred at the end of the day. The rolling argument with Lucy is all make believe and laughter is the soundtrack of my life. Everyday I give thanks for having been given this dream.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Blockhead Bits (#212)

Why do kids pants have pockets? Is it to hold their keys? Keep up with their wallets?

Why does a two year old need a watch?

How come nobody at Subway knows the recipe for anything? I'm looking at the picture next to them and I can tell exactly what goes into a steak and bacon.How come they have so much trouble figuring it out?

Have toys always been covered in lead and we just didn't care? How bad could it be? I played in dumpsters when I was a kid and I turned out ok.I like pink cheese..

Is it wrong that I still hold my nose after 570 days of diaper changing?

Is it even more wrong that I'd rather not teach him to be potty trained because changing a diaper is much more preferable than emptying a poop bucket a couple times a day?

Can John Cusack make a bad movie? Here is the preview from Martian Child. We saw it this past weekend:

I understand Buffy is a fictional character but why can't I let go? The show ended like 3 years ago!!! Dang you Sarah Michelle Geller and your recent cover of Maxim!!!

Why do people constantly bring me cookies, cakes, and donuts? My kitchen looks like the desert branch of the Salvation Army.

What is it about me that makes people comfortable talking about infections relating to their privates? Call me when it gets on your elbow, otherwise keep it to yourself.and I mean that literally.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Things We Learn Along The Way

I know I say this every time I mention him, but Fred is changing more and more everyday. Recently I've been struck by  the amazing bits of knowledge he picks up here and there.

Yesterday he went to the counter, pulled down the bag of Oreo's(double stuffed of course), got one out, twisted it open, and started licking the center out like a pro!! I didn't teach him this (kinda wish I had, but I'm not there every second of the day). I think the GiGi had something to do with it.

I was on my way to the bathroom the other day and he says "Pee Pee dadda" Now the Dr. told us last week that normally 19 months is way too early to start potty training, but considering he witnessed Fred do a dook, grab a fresh diaper and the pack of wipes from the diaper bag, then proceed to hand them to Lucy, the guy reconsider his theories on when to potty train. Santa is bringing Fred his own potty this year.  Not the one Santa uses, but one that's close to it I'm sure.

Puzzles are great for kids. Not the like jigsaw puzzles. I'm talking the big bulky circles and animal shapes that normally fit into holes cut into pieces of plywood. They work as blocks and learning tools and occasionally they are turned into balls (though we try to avoid using them for that purpose). Suddenly he knows the chicken block goes into the chicken hole and the duck block goes into the duck hole. He'll even make the animal noise as he puts them in there.

It's no secret Auburn is my team. War Eagle. War Tommy Tuberville. War my boys in orange and blue taking it to the tide after this coming weeks much needed rest. This is something I'm determined to  pass down to Fred though it was a major shock to see him run to the coat rack and scream for his Auburn  cap when after being asked where it was.

All we do now is play cars and throw balls. Big cars, little cars, red cars, blue cars. Cars you ride, cars you push, cars that go by did he learn to switch the car around when it's his turn to roll it back? How did he learn which end is the front? I never took the time to show him "Fred look. We turn the car around to face the other way then we push" He just does it. 

High Fives we had to teach. Saying thank you (tanks is his version) was something taught. Taking his socks off, holding them to his nose, and pretending they stink was something taught. Suddenly he's timing his burps to escape the same time as mine. Something's are just born into them I guess.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Who We Are

We hadn't had a night to ourselves in so long that we jumped at the slightest hint of an opportunity. Some random friend mentions "Hey if you want us to keep Fred some night so you two can go to a movie, just let us know" I understand that sometimes people say things to be polite and we all let things slip just to keep the conversation rolling, but offering parents of a 2 year old (technically a 19 month old) a night on the town isn't something you say out loud without truly meaning it. It's like offering a homeless man a free meal. He's going to take you up on the offer cause you said it and in his mind why would you offer if you didn't intend to follow through.

In this case the Gigi offered and like that homeless man that hadn't had a steak in twenty years we jump on the invitation for a night of freedom. Being a parent in a lot of ways is like being a zoo keeper. Zoo keepers don't get to sleep late. There are animals to be fed and cages to be cleaned. Sometimes the creatures jump through the hoops when asked, sometimes they look at you like your the dumbest amphibian on this planet. A zoo keepers job is never done and at the end of the day you can't help but detect the slightest aroma of poop on him.

Before the baby we were book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers. We did what we wanted when we wanted too no matter the time of the day. After the baby those days became things of legend. Stories of our adventures all begin with the phrase "Remember when we could...."

Well this weekend we got a chance to relive those days and....we hated it. It started at the restaurant where every family in town showed up with their clone of our Fred and sat all around us. Kids laughing at their daddy's. Mom's begging them to settle down. Chicken nuggets being begged for. The idea of a romantic dinner for two resembling the good ole days kept being interrupted by flashes of the way we were now. Just like the car had felt empty with only two people inside, the dinner table felt odd without the high chair sitting next to it.

Yes the movie was nice, but again the silence of the car and the echo in the house afterward were deafening. It's not that I don't love my wife and her I. It's not that we didn't have stories to tell or things to talk about over dinner. The food was fantastic, the movie amazing, the time together's just that it felt...incomplete. Sure we joke about having a kid can sometimes be a struggle and how it's the most exhausting thing in the world. We kid about how we would kill for a night for just the two of us...and once we got our chance, it was all we could do not to go get the little guy the second the waitress laid the check on the table.

We used to be book readers, movie watchers, back rubbers, stay up all night playing board gamers...we used to be.