Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Color Me Bad

One thing they never tell you before you become a parent is that you better be careful with the child while you are flying solo or you'll be in just as much trouble as he/she is if something is destroyed, mangled, or in my case changes color.

It could have just as easily happened to Lucy and I'm sure there's been a couple of times when I've come in to find that Fred has scarred the house or car is some way....I just don't remember them now. In my defense I was not on the computer during the time the destruction took place no matter what she says, though I can't really remember what I was doing so I guess you could say that was up to interpretation.

I don't have pictures because A) I've got a cold and didn't think about how funny it was as I scrubbed red crayon off the wall of our hallway at Midnight and B) I had thought that once I got all of it off the coffee table that I would be home free....I had yet to turn on the light in the hall at that time so....

Lucy was good about it. As good as she could be. Fred only got a stern talking too by Lucy as he went to bed, mainly because when I came around the corner and saw a red coffee table instead of a yellow striped one I went straight into damage control. I think that's when he must have snuck past me and decorated the hall.

If only he had drawn a smiley face or wrote I Love U Mommy! I could have done something cool like put an empty frame around it, but I felt sure nobody was going to appreciate a bunch of zigzags other than of course Fred.

Either way the most important thing is that I got it all off and now we have a very clean coffee table as well as several clean spots in the hall.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

G-O-L-F Spells Grief

The smarter Fred gets the more we have to spell things out in order to not trigger that part of every kids brain that tells them that if they repeat something enough we will give it to them.

Those of you who have spent any time with us know that we often sound like we are practicing for the National Spelling Bee. Except that I’m a little slower than Lucy and often times Fred figures out what she is trying to say before I do.

“Hey dad I bought some B-u-b-b-l-e-s’es for you guys to play with outside.”

“What did Fred get at Kate-Kate’s party?”

“Are you and Pops going to play G-o-l-f in the morning?”

G-O-L-F has become a very popular word around our house lately especially since I start writing a blog about the subject next week. It’s actually two sites and I’m sharing writing duties with another writer, but that’s off topic. I’ve taken Fred to play a few times now and since I need to know what I’m talking about I’ve been watching/reading all I can on the game. Anytime he hears the word, whoever said it has to go outside and play with him for half an hour.

Another word we spell is M-c-D-o-n-a-l-d-s. All he wants to eat is C-h-i-c-k C-h-i-c-k’s

Then there’s M-i-l-k, which we are trying to get him to drink less of.
“He needs to take a B-a-t-h” This one usually sends him running the other way in the same fashion as the cat when he hears the V-e-t word or when I see the U-t-i-l-i-t-y B-i-l-l.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Swimming In Circles

Fred started swimming lessons last week so everyday from 5:30-6 we can be found lounging out by the city’s public pool. When we first started kicking over the idea of Fred learning to swim a couple of things immediately came to mind. 1) We are talking about my son so do we really want him to learn how to swim when walking down the hall without tripping over his own feet is still a problem? I mean I’m 32 and I still fall all the time. 2) Our idea of swimming lessons involves people in red one-piece bathing suits ala Baywatch with whistles around their necks which they use to keep in the kids in order.

Neither of these assumptions or (in the case of one-piece bathing suits) images were any where close to what actually takes place and it all went down hill from the moment he hit the water. After a brief info session from the Lifeguard that started and stopped with the phrase “Only 1 parent in the water with the child at one time. Everyone else must stand behind the fence” (Again I would have liked to have heard something about in case of rain, here’s what we do if somebody begins to drown, or “Hey look! This certificate means I’m a licensed lifeguard and not a teenager simply looking to get a good tan”) we were told we could get our child into the water….little did we know the only things the class would cover is when it’s ok to get in the pool (5:30) and when it’s imperative we leave the pool (6:00). So Fred hits the water with a leap from the edge, into Lucy’s waiting arms, and immediately moves to the top of his class. See again we were under the impression that actual lessons would be given, but were immediately informed by the Guard (more like a security guard at this point and only there in case somebody decides to steal a nerf ball from the Muscle Shoals Park and Rec Department) that he looked awfully big to be 2 and that they normally save jumping in till the last day of the two week class.

So basically we are renting a pool for half an hour for 10 days at a cost of $2.50 per day which in today’s economy is pretty cheap until you realize that we could visit the same pool for free from 1-5 and learn just as much.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Editor In Chief

Being as this is my 270th post I thought Iwould take a second to talk about my biggest fan and the role she plays in creating Charlie. Of course I am talking about none other than the fabulous Lucy Blockhead. For those of you who don't know we have been joined at the hip since our first date way way back on December 27, 1997. Since then she has brought more joy into my life than I can ever imagine. During that time we've definately had our share of struggles. Like that two week period my arm started swelling and I developed a grapefruit sized knot under my arm. Of course we thought it was cancer, but thankfully it turned out to only be a clogged sweat gland. Then there was the day I just chunked my job of two years without having a clue as to what I would do the next day. This isn't about the hard times though, this is about your's truly Charlie Blockhead.

Charlie really just started out as a way for me to express my fears at becoming a new dad. Two years and some months later it has lead to a pretty good part-time job (this is where I plug the freelance site I'm writing for Petsource) and at least twice a week the adventure continues to move forward.

What you may not know is that eventually I'm going print this entire blog and have it published. All 270 pages in counting will someday be bound, numbered, and given to Fred as a way to know just what made his dear ole dad tick (though it may also make him wonder why his mom stuck around for so long).

Since this is essentially like writing a 270+ letter to your son and such an important task, it's nice to have somebody around to help keep the tone of the posts in check. This is where Lucy comes in. She is the first to tell me when something shouldn't be discussed (like wondering if your child's future will involve a life of crime) and when I've gone too far (I once wrote a post about what I think of those who come forward at church too often, which was immediately deleted). She is my Editor In Chief and on this momentous occasion as I celebrate the big 270 I just wanted to make sure she knows that as with the rest of my life I'd have nothing if I didn't have her first.

Monday, July 07, 2008

Spaces In Between

It's been a while since I got all reflective and posted about something other than the latest adventure, but something about spending time at Granny's always leaves me looking inside and promising to make changes in my life. Then again after spending four straight days in a house full of 15 people, my inner voice may just be dying to be heard.

More and more I find myself yearning for the weekends. I guess I just thought that somewhere along the way the constant sense of amazement that comes with being a father would wear off. It's just the opposite though. The more time I spend with Lucy and Fred the more time I want. In school I'd spend all day daydreaming about the beach, girls, and what I could be doing if I wasn't stuck in a class room. Now 15 years later I spend my works days doing the same thing, except of course the only girl I daydream about is Lucy and what I could be doing is playing golf with Fred.

Except for Broccoli and Nani, I don't get to see the rest of the family much more than a few days a year. During the times we do get together it's like we try to pack a year's worth of family time into 48 hours. We laugh, we cry, we fight. We storm out of rooms declaring it's time to go back home and enter those same rooms moments later praying it never ends. It always does though....

And as is the case today, after all the suitcases have been packed and everyone has called to say they made it home, I'm left wondering what I can do to make those feelings last. Saddly though the answer of course is nothing. It's just that simple.

The truth is that the reason family time is such a powerful force is because it's only given out is small quantities. A weekend by the pool here, a trip to Chucky Cheese there. I'm convinced that if somehow I could cut out everything that required my attention, found a way to live life without worrying about money, food, a roof over our heads, and was able to give 100% of myself to spending time with Lucy, Fred, and the others....I'd take it for granted and never understand what an amazing life I have.

For me it's the spaces in between the 8-5, the time spent working to provide for my family, and the trips to Granny's that makes them so special. It's the spaces in between that keeping me coming back to work every morning. Rain or shine. Monday thru Friday. Daydreaming about beaches, girls named Lucy, and what I could be doing with Fred.