Saturday, October 31, 2009

Fathers Still Know What's Best

"I wish all my dad's would bring a list from their wives" is the first thing Fred's Dr. said when he saw me pull the check list out of my pocket. I tried to defend myself by saying that I had brought Fred to the doctor several times before without the supervision of his mother. Still I couldn't shake the idea that he considered myself and all dads to be mere babysitters who are simply a stand in that will do when mom is not around. Kinda like having to use shredded instead of sliced cheese when grilling a sandwich. Yes it's still cheese, but there's no substituting the real thing. In my defense I'm just one guy who can't very well be held responsible for how half the population on this planet acts, but I tried. "I'll have you know I helped make this list and I'm just double checking that I covered everything." Again judging by his response that for every solo dad bringing in his sick child comes a dozen calls afterward from a very worried mother who didn't have all her questions answered, I felt I had no choice but to concede the point.

Dads used to be considered the last word. June always took Ward's lead. The show was called Father Knows Best not Mother May I. I'm not trying to be sexist, I'm only saying that just because Homer Simpson and Peter Griffin can't manage to tie a knot without somehow getting an ER tech involved doesn't mean all dads are that way. Given I will concede that during the first few years of marriage it's every man's nature to act like an idiot in hopes of getting less chore time and more football time. For quite a while there my wife was convinced I couldn't peel a potato or fold a towel because the end result was something that would not be acceptable in a bathroom closet or pot of stew. When it came down to it though I just wanted to see my team kick the extra point.

Now that I'm a dad things are different. Not only is everything in my household a tag team sport, but it's the same with all my buddies. We take our daughters to birthday parties, our sons shopping for school clothes, and cook dinner three nights a week. We still talk about the latest Nascar race or who showed up on SNL the night before, we just do it while waiting for ballet class and T-ball practice to be over. When we show up at these places it's not because we have to or their mom is sick so we are getting stuck with the task, it's because we are parents and we enjoy the spending time with our kids. Now if only all the Al Bundy's out there would quit furthering the stereotype.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Question On Everyone's Mind

When I learned a few months back that our second child was on its way and life would be taking another one of those turns that you had always planned for, but are still never prepared to make; I remember going over in my head the list of things that would change. My McDonalds bill for one is going to skyrocket. Daycare is going to be as much as a house payment. At only 4 years apart to the month, my son will be close enough in age to enjoy mentoring our new addition. We will soon take up an entire pew at church. One thing I didn't consider was the reaction my wife and I would receive once people learned what we were having.

Yesterday with Fred in attendance we were blessed with imagines of a very healthy baby boy. Although the question of what we were having wasn't as important to Fred as "How are we getting it out of Mommy's belly?", he still managed to jump up and down when he learned the big news. This of course was expected, however what we didn't expect was how others would react. Of course everyone was excited and positive, but for some strange reason a different kind of question seemed to follow within minutes of the big reveal. The words weren't always the same: "Were you wanting a girl instead?" "Is Lucy sad it's not a girl?" "Since you are having another boy are you going to try a third time just in case?", but the meaning was always there in the subtext. Were we sad not to be having one of each?

There are questions that are automatically asked whenever somebody announces a big event. The first time your family hears you tell the person you are dating you love them you can bet "When will the question be popped?" is on the tip of every one's tongue. The moment the ring is on the finger you get "When is the big day?". I know you just walked down the alter, but what we are going to need now is a brief press conference on the subject of when your first child will be born. Now that you are pregnant what is your preference: Boy or Girl? The quick answer to this of course is that all any parent wants is a healthy child. It doesn't stop though and eventually gets to the point where that's not enough and they force you to declare what team you are on. "In general I want a healthy child, but that being said if I have to pick (and let's get this straight you can tell by the way they ask you with their beady eyes and fixed stare that you have no choice but to pick) I guess I would like a ___". Now that the sex of Baby#2 has been told to everyone in the Northern Hemisphere, I have to say I'm really shocked at the intensity of this line of questioning that suggests that deep down inside we are crushed by the thought of having another boy and we must unburden ourselves by admitting it once and for all. I'm not the only one that has noticed this.

My cousin who is coincidentally expecting daughter number two the exact same day as our second child, told me that one person dared to ask "How did your husband take not having a boy? Is he going to be okay with it?" Okay with it!?! How do you answer that? "Sadly after hearing the news that he was again denied a son, the last I saw he was running down the freeway ripping at his clothes and screaming something about hating his genes" After all that's really what they want to hear anyway. As for my family though I can honestly say that while a girl would have been nice, all I really want is a healthy happy baby that will follow in his big brothers footsteps by becoming every parents dream come true.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Curb Your Lack Of Enthusiasm

Like most of the people on this planet I'm a Seinfeld fan. I've written posts about it, watched every episode a dozen times, quote it frequently, yada yada get my point. When I heard the gang was getting back together for a reunion show inside a show I was all in. Larry David the guy behind Seinfeld has had a show on HBO for a while now and I've seen it a few times. It's not my favorite show, but it has it's moments. Nothing to get your DVR worked up about, still it's on Sunday night and there's not much to chose from. Now that the cast of Seinfeld is getting back together on Larry's show Curb Your Enthusiasm I'm watching it faithfully this season.

This week I made the mistake of catching up on the latest ep. in front of Gigi. Of course this was also the week where they tossed out F-bombs like they were pieces of candy being thrown from parade floats. I guess the reaction I got was similar in the sense that the crowd was up in the air waving their arms and hollering. The 1st one I acted like I didn't notice, the 2nd one caused me to turn the volume down a bit, by the time the 8th one flew across the room I began to feel like the lawyer of a man everyone knows is guilty, but still deserves a decent defense. Here I am watching a show I like for the B story line in which 4 classic television characters come together to do something they swore would never happen and not caring about what else is going on, suddenly I'm pleading my case to jury that has already made up their mind that I deserve to fry. Not that there's anything wrong with that, I understand her distaste for what was being presented. I just wish this time around the funny would have out weighted the foul and hadn't left me feeling less than the Master Of My Domain.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Ghosts Of Halloweens Past

Today they announced that this year's Halloween Contest at work would be held on the 29th and I gotta tell ya....I'm on the fence about this one. Admittedly after 339 posts I can't remember if I've shared my adventures in failed Halloween costumes before, but basically reviews have been virtually non-existent since for some reason I insist on practically hiding my costume in plain sight. One year I went as Bruce Wayne. I got all dressed up in my Sunday best, left a few extra buttons undone on my shirt, and wore my Batman shirt underneath. My thought was that people would see me dressed to the nines, catch the yellow hint of the Bat symbol sticking out, and rave about my creativity.....except apparently nobody looks at me and so nobody even guessed I was secretly a superhero. The next year I tried it again with Superman. With my plaid shirt, standard khakis, and black glasses, I looked just like Clark Kent with the faintest hint of an S sticking out just below my neck line.....and again it was a super dud.

Last year I decided I was going to get noticed once and for all. White shirt, black slacks, wet hair, tie sticking out wildly to the side of my shirt just under my pocket full of pens....I was the perfect Dilbert. I even changed my badge to say DILBERT!! How much more obvious did I need to be....well apparently a lot more, because for the 3rd year in a row nobody realized I dressed up for Halloween.

Now you can understand why this year I'm at a crossroads. I've got this idea for Shaggy. I could wear my brown corduroy pants, brown shoes, green long sleeve shirt, not comb my hair that day, and go without shaving for 2 weeks.....or I could forget the entire thing. Maybe it's time for a quick poll! See the sidebar for details!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Scooby Doo And The Monster In My Closet

One of my favorite things about being a dad is being able to watch cartoons with my son. Wolverine & The X-Men, Iron Man Armored Adventures, Super Hero Squad.....sometimes I don't even wait till he's around. I just watch them ahead of time. Lately he's got a major crush on Scooby Doo. And not just any Scooby Doo cartoon, but only those featuring the entire gang (that's right take a hike Scrappy). We've weened him just a bit, but still he's an hour a day Scooby Doo-Aholic. The problem of course is that it's scaring the bejesus out of him at night.

It's probably not as bad as I'm making it out to be, but honestly I caught him yesterday telling Nani to look out for Monsters on her way home. There's been a couple times when he's asked for an escort to the bathroom. By the time we leave his nightlight on, the hall light on, his TV on, and he flips the on switch to his trusty triceratops flashlight....he's not really sleeping in the dark anymore. So you can see why we were more than just a little hesitant to believe that there was a monster in his closet.

One thing about Fred is that he doesn't give up. Most of the time this is a huge annoyance that I reluctantly take full credit for passing down to him. This time however it was us that was determined to put the "Monster In My Closet" business to bed fast before it became a nightly event. We persisted, we promised, we kept at him. "There are no monsters in your closet" and all we got back was "UN HUH!"

Finally after an hour of attempting to break down the wall between what is real and what is a make believe old man dressed up like a zombie, Fred gave an explanation that we just couldn't ignore "Well if it's not a monster than a toy is trying to get out of my closet". So with that I did the only thing I could do.....I opened the closet......and out jumped a very unhappy cat that had been trapped for a very long time. Needless to say every night before bed, just to be sure, we check the closet just in case any monsters or kitty cats are hiding inside.