Friday, July 22, 2011

How to Score at the Park

After talking with a friend the other day, I realized that I have to change my position on a post I wrote some time ago, probably close to three years. ( think I wrote about this, but couldn't find anything.)

When I first moved to the Lakeview neighborhood, it felt as if women at the parks would not talk to me. I went to several parks and I felt like an outsider. Even worse, it felt as if women felt defensive when I was near.

That is no longer the case. I probably make a single-serving friend (see Fight Club) every other visit to the park. Maybe two out of every three visits. While I'm not good at translating that into playdates or a real friendship, it's nice to have a friendly conversation with no strings attached.

An interesting aspect of this new found . . . confidence at the park is that I tend to seek the company of women rather than men. When I see men at the park, it never is my initial instinct to consider the possibility that he may be a homemaker.

With respect to preferring the company of women, I can't say what that is, exactly. I do know that I am a man in a woman's world. And it still is. Part of the proof is marketing. Just watch daytime TV. I promise you will never see a clothes washing commercial aimed at male consumers. Even when I was in high school, I made several good girl-friends with whom I would talk for hours on the phone without any romantic connotation. Perhaps I am finally comfortable with my appearance and my life, a change from my teenage and twenties when I felt awkward and battled acne. While there is never (NEVER) any flirtation or romantic intention, I would be dishonest if I didn't admit that being confident with women makes me feel good about myself.

On the flip-side, why is it that I do not seek out guy-time when out with the kids? While few of the men I come across in public are homemakers, we still have plenty in common.

As I'm writing this, I wonder if there is something in me that wants to separate my home life from my social life. I love guy time. Love it. But when I'm having guy time, I like to get rude, crude, and rowdy. My humor is base and, at times, misogynistic. I love a good beer but ten is better and please pass the bourbon. Oh, and the F-word? I use F like Paula Deen uses butter. Golf? Is there any better place to be than your favorite golf course with your buddies? Okay, maybe playing a hockey game (including the locker room before and after the game as well as the beers in the bar after the locker room.)

Perhaps I should make more of an effort with guys at the park. I can only imagine how uncomfortable some may be. Perhaps they feel silly as I once did playing little kid games. Perhaps if a cool guy had made an effort with me when JD was little, I would have had a better initial experience.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

You know you're a homemaker when . . .

You can walk into a bathroom chewing a bite of food, wipe your child's butt then wash your hands, all the while seamlessly looking forward to your next morsel.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Don't Mistake the Bathroom for the Bedroom

Daddy, I have to poop.

The first time, I believed her.

We were laying in her bed, a twin-sized trundle bed extended from her brother's full sized bed which sits under a twin-sized bunk bed.

I purchased the mattress last week and the bedding this weekend. It was all made up, bright colors and familiar stuffed animals. She was armed with her new Cinderella pillow.

Noooo! No nap!


After calming her, we read 4 stories and sang three songs. Daddy, I have to poop.

We went to the bathroom across the hall. She peed. Denied having to poop. Back to bed.

Sang another song, then made a move for the door.

Screaming. I didn't break stride and closed the door behind me. Five minutes later, she opened the door. I met her. Daddy, I have to poop.

This time, I was skeptical. But we're in the middle of potty training and semi-successfully at that. (Much better than with JD.)

A little pee (no poop,) back to bed. A little screaming. Five minutes later, we met again at the second story landing. Daddy, I have to poop.

No, you don't, I replied. Back to bed. More screaming.

Ten minutes later, we meet again. By this time, we have to leave in 45 minutes to go to JD's speech therapy class, so it would cause more harm if she did actually fall asleep, only to be woken up minutes later to be transferred to the car.

I am writing this from my Motorola Droid phone in the parking lot at the produce market, waiting for Toodles to wake up so we can go buy granny smith apples for $0.98/lb. for Wife.

Oh, and it's 95 degrees outside, so I have had the car running with the A/C on for almost an hour. I didn't figure $10 worth of gas into the bed budget. Lesson: always tack on at least 10% to any improvement project.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Boys and girls

Toodles just asked me why she can't go pee on the fence.


Ode to a summer morning

530 screaming. Back to bed, I say.
600 screaming. Pillow over my head.
630 comes and all is calm. Time to start the day.

Time to poop, time to pee. Time to get your clothes on.

Breakfast time. Don't pour cheerios down your throat, please use your spoon.

I'm going to change the laundry, please don't follow. Don't push your sister, I said I would be back soon.

Time for sunscreen. Time to unload the dishwasher. Time to do your ABCs. Time to go to the park. Oh, snacks? Oh, water? Oh, shit, back in the house. Oh, towels? Oh, diapers? Oh, shit, not again.

Splash and play and making new friends. Smiles all around. I guess it was worth it. We'll do it again.

And again

And again

And again

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Quality Time

The ribs were in the oven. The cole slaw was in the fridge soaking in the vinegar and oil solution. The counters were wiped down.

Toodles and Wife were napping. JD was watching How to Train Your Dragon. A slow Saturday afternoon before friends would come over around 4 or 5 to barbeque. I was looking forward to playing 18 holes on, followed by the Sox at the Cubs.

As I opened the black metal picketed child gate to go downstairs, I heard that sweet voice.

"Daddy, do you want to watch Dragon Movie with me? Here," he said, patting the cushion next to him, "sit and watch Dragon Movie with me."

How could I say no?