Saturday, September 28, 2013

We're Fine, Really...

Family, Friends, Doctors: My wife and I do not need a night out.

We appreciate your concern, really we do, but we’re good.  Yep, the three of us, and our diaper changing, naptime routines, and bibs and bottles and nuks and rocking and …. all of it, it’s fine.  Just fine.

We don’t need any time to ourselves.  We rather enjoy riding around listening to toddler tunes, finishing each other’s sentences when talking to our child, talking poop.  The other night we caught ourselves dancing in the kitchen, our son looking up to us, stopped mid-bounce in his jumper, we’d never seen him blush before.  

Dinner and a movie? Puh-lease! Let me get this straight, you sit down for nearly two hours and just watch a movie?  Just sitting there, you have two hours and don’t use if for sleeping? Now that is just ridiculous.

Besides, we just had a night out, for our anniversary, July 30th.  It was 90 minutes of pure bliss.  Was it nice sitting down and chewing food, with utensils, perhaps some conversation in between bites? Sure, but the other night I ate a sandwich in two and a half minutes and even had time to take a sip of water. 

We’re doing okay, the three of us, totally healthy here, thank you.  Yes, that is baby food on my jeans, so what?  At least I’m wearing jeans, I’m usually in pajamas well before sun down, and in bed before 10 in an effort to race the clock when our son wakes up and needs a tushy pat.  What’s that?  Yeah, I said it, tushy pat.  You know it’s funny, I was at work last Friday I found myself excited about watching Dateline that night.  What in the world would I do with a night out?  We’re fine, really.

We have plenty of entertainment at the house, like when our son get’s jealous of the breast pump, his brow lowers and his lip pouting, I think he even made a fist!

So there, thank you for your concern but as you can see everything is just peachy mango bananas here.  

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Oh The Toys We Will Find!

The other weekend, I got a glimpse into my future as a father. And let me just say this, the future looks fun… We dropped off a gift for a very pregnant couple who also happen to be parents of a three year old boy. Walking in, my buddy led us to where his wife (congratulations guys!) was parked on the couch. I made a serious attempt at adult conversation when I felt a tiny hand grab mine and lead me to a spot on the floor. Okay. My eyes swept over the barrage of toys in the corner. The radio flyer tricycle parked by the closet door. A train set, the race cars, the--Oooh! Is that a pirate ship? 
Toys R Us Wish list

“Do you want to play?” 

Absolutely I do kid. Plopping down on the floor, it took some self restraint to keep from  bouncing and pointing as the boy returned with his first presentation: Two pirate ships, on wheels, floating across the Gold Coast of hardwood flooring with their bows high and their cannons level. 

“ Okay, you take this one.” 

I was given a ship and gave it a once over. And then my mind was blown. The cannons shot little projectiles.  We took turns battering each other's ship while my son watched from a distance, drooling over the cool toys that I cannot wait to buy for him. (Okay, it may have been his regular drooling, but still). 

The toys at our house are simplistic and boring. Primitive, bland instruments designed to help build motor skills. These toys were built for boys, and brought memories of GI Joes and He-man, attaching smoke bombs to remote control cars for….Okay, I’m getting ahead of myself. We battled over the stormy seas and manufactured winds of air conditioning, and in the end his Schooner proved to be too strong. This was his home turf, and the kid was a sea dog. I hoisted my white flag and was commandeered. 

I was still admiring the fleet of pirate ships we were onto our next adventure, a jungle safari, only with batman…and a rabbit. I didn’t get hung up on technicalities; we were having too much fun. A three year old’s mind works fast, and as I caught my breath I glanced over to find that Simon was getting into it too, squeezing a stuffed monkey into a slobbering submission. We were all on the floor, my friend, his boy, and Simon and I, just swimming in toys. It was righteous. As we raced cars and motorcycles, stacked giant legos for the sole purpose of knocking them down, and at some point hijacked a school bus with a giraffe, I looked over to my friend, the same guy I used to meet at the bar at the crack of noon

“This is awesome!” 

He nodded with a knowing smile.  “Isn't it fun being a dad?"

Yes it is...

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Oh Poo...

“Hi, nice to meet you.” 

Shaking hands with one of the hot shots at work this morning, I suddenly remembered the hunk of poo on my index finger just hours ago. I still don't know what happened, the details are blurry. My son had a surprise waiting for me.  A surprise that was bursting at the seams. Hours upon turning 38 years old, I was screaming like a girl for my wife to come and help me with a very messy situation. Then I looked at my finger. Uh oh. You know that part in Home Alone, when the kid sets the spider on the bad guy’s face? That was my reaction. 

But that's how the day began. The morning was a whirl of tasks all pertaining to the 20lb ball of chub whose ear rattling shriek prevented me from oversleeping on the couch. Yes, the couch, on my birthday. I know, poor, poor, pitiful me… 

I was on the couch because our son was a beast last night. He’s teething, (or growing horns out of his head), and he won the battle of wills once again. We let him in the bed and between mother and baby, Dad became the odd man out. I tried the guest room, but couldn’t get comfortable. Somehow I ended up on the couch. I’m such a drama queen… But I’m not complaining. I can't complain. Our baby is well, and we are healthy. A bit tired but healthy.

Anyway, the important man released my hand and I waited for him to curl his lip or wrinkle his nose. But all was clear. Maybe that Bath and Body Works warm vanilla sugar soap works after all. That or the kerosene. Later, when I look in the mirror to find that I had forgotten to brush my hair, I saw the dribbles of white crust just under my collar. The little dude urped on me when I wasn’t looking. But at least this explains why people were clinging to the walls in passing and giving me that polite, but please don't kill me smile in the cafeteria.  And it explains why I have this nagging compulsion to wash my hands, again...

Saturday, September 14, 2013


I’m having a major dilemma in my marriage.  My wife refuses to use a top sheet in bed.  Every few days morning when I make the bed, I meticulously tuck the sheet under the comforter and other modern amenities afforded to civilized human beings.  Despite these efforts, I wake up in the middle of the night to a twisted knot wrapped around my ankles. 
twisted bedsheets

Somehow this slid under my radar in the early days of our marriage.  I don’t remember her being such a slouch in bed….wait! That’s not what I meant...I mean, maybe this was a post pregnancy thing, her sheet-less ways.  Maybe it came with the I’m hot, no I’m cold stage and just never left. 

So what gives?  Will we end up with two single beds separated by a nightstand littered with large print editions of Reader’s Digests and AARP mailers?  Her pen scattered with hay bales and tattered afghans, some pales of water nearby.  There’s always bunk beds…but I hope it doesn’t come to that, at least not for a few more years.  Still, something has to give.  Well not really, who am I kidding here?  We all know that she’ll get her way in the end and I’ll have to stoop to such primitive sleeping habits. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

I Like To Party...

At times, living with my son can be like living with a drunk.  It’s not like we’re rubbing moonshine on his gums or anything, but there are some times (every day), when I notice the similarities between my 7 1/2 month old son and a loud, red faced, sweaty drunk.  Like say,oh I don’t know, the crapping of his pants. The laughing at me while I’m cleaning his butt and look down to find a piece of said crap stuck to my thumb and I scream like a girl.  The unsteady drooling, the upchucking, the wobbly stare similar to that of a late night Waffle House guest.  When you put this all together, it’s like being sober at Mardi Gras.

When he sits, it’s like he’s on one of those inflatable exercise balls.  Rocking back and forth, he sometimes falls flat on his face, or his back, wherever the wind takes him. I’ve known a few friends who had that problem after a couple of shots (ahem, yes friends). His head tilts, begins to lean, and if it sways too far in one direction, well, down goes Frazier.  I have to watch this guy at all times.  Just when you think it's safe, he’s trying to eat your phone.

With no teeth, he sucks in his lips and chews on his gums. He mumbles gibberish, sticking his out his tongue like a misbehaving orangutan.  Or sometimes exhaling in a high pitch sigh of exhaustion.  At first I wondered why this sounded vaguely familiar, but then I realized that its usually the sound a drunk makes after the lights have come on and the bartender is trying to cash out. 

Anyone who has let a drunken friend crash at their house knows what I mean.  My son is like an episode of drunk history, without the history. Or words.  He can be rude and fussy one moment, and my best buddy the next.  When he’s hungry, he demands the boob.  He likes the bottle, but he loves the boob. The other day while sitting with mom he plopped his face in and started motor boating.  Upon coming up for air and seeing my reaction he was thrown into a slobbering fit of laughter.  The guy's a riot. 

After a meal he’s prone to passing out.  Actually, he passes out whenever or wherever the urge strikes. Most of the time he’s in a great mood, just like a happy drunk, but mood swings are prevalent and can strike in an instant. His merriment can suddenly vanish, giving way to a full on meltdown, often times shifting back to giggles before I have fully registered what exactly was the problem. Which reminds me, I once saw a guy so drunk he passed out while he was crying.  I never thought I’d see that again.  But I see it a lot, it’s called bedtime. 

Occasionally our little Billy Madison wakes up disheveled and upset at the world, I come in and he laughs.  I beg him to sleep, but there’s no talking sense into this guy, he just tries to eat my nose.

Yes, the times are, well, interesting.  So here’s to parenthood, and sobriety for that matter, they kind of go hand and hand…

Thursday, September 5, 2013


As a kid, I was a huge NFL fan. I could rattle off numerous statistics from every team, watching the pregame, the post-game, and all of the highlights during the week. I collected football cards, read magazines, and even had trusty metal lunchbox complete with the helmets of all 28 NFL teams (I still consider Carolina and Jacksonville expansion teams).
Chicago Bears Super Bowl Shuffle
In 1985, I fell in love with the Chicago Bears. It was hard not to do, with players like the great Walter Payton, William “The Refrigerator” Perry, the wacky quarterback Jim McMahon, and of course the coach, Mike Ditka, the team was loaded with characters. Steam rolling their opponents on the way to a 15-1 regular season record, I began to cheer and root for them to win each week. They were must see tv. By the time the Super Bowl Shuffle debuted, it was a done deal.
There was only one problem; I was raised as a Dallas Cowboys fan. But my Cowboys were mediocre at best and I just couldn’t help myself.  Those Bears were so flashy and dominant, and always in the headlines. That Christmas, I tore open my Chicago Bears kids uniform and officially boarded the bandwagon.
I proudly wore my Walter Payton jersey for the world to see. I rapped the words to the Super Bowl Shuffle as my father shook his head, wondering where he went wrong. He's had been a Cowboys fan since the glory years of Roger Staubach, and now his own son had abandoned ship. It didn't help that the Bears whipped the Cowboys 44-0 at Texas stadium.
I cheered mightily as the Bears crushed the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XX. I still loved the Cowboys, but the Bears were exciting. Mike Singletary and Richard Dent anchored the stingy Buddy Ryan defense. Mike Ditka stalked the sidelines, and who could forget Perry's touchdown? Sure it should have been Payton's moment but I didn't care as I  as the Bears demolished the lowly Pats. It was too much for a ten year old kid to resist.
The next season, as the novelty wore off (and the wins), I hopped off the bandwagon and came back to the Cowboys. I dusted off my Danny White jersey and haven't wavered since.  Now the Cowboys haven't won anything in a while, and I fear that my son may wander off and find himself a winner at some point during his childhood.  As long as it's not the Redskins we'll be okay.
My brief period as a bandwagon fan was fun and I'm not ashamed. I was a kid, and a team like the '85 Bears doesn't come around often. Walter Payton was a great player as well as a great man and I'm glad I was around to watch him play. Every time he touched the ball something magical could happen. Today, the only thing that remains of my bandwagon season is a song, I still know most of the words to the Super Bowl Shuffle.