It all started a few weeks before Thanksgiving. While watching T.V. Anna would yell “I WANT THAT!” at everything that popped up on the commercials on Nickelodeon or Nick Jr. We handed her a Target toy ad insert a while back and asked her to circle what she wanted. It took her most of the morning, but she methodically circled every goddamned thing in the ad. Well, she’s not the only person in our house that has a wish list. I have one too. Papa has been relatively good this year, so I feel confident asking the big guy (uh, Santa, duh!) for the following items: 1. I want to go to bed and sleep, and I would like to wake up on my own rested and ready for the day. 2. I want clothing that doesn’t need to be washed. The Sisyphean task of laundry with two kids takes the life out of me. 3. Is it too much to ask for quiet dinners? Really, I would like to have some sparkling conversation and talk about the day instead of screaming and yelling. 4. Kids that will eat anything that is presented to them and not complain and toss it on the floor? PLEASE? I am getting so tired of chicken nuggets and yogurt. 5. With that said, I want a dog that will actually come in and clean up ANYTHING that is on the floor. Oscar, I really miss you. 6. And while I am on it, a self-cleaning house with toys that put themselves away would be nice. 7. A cow, for milk. Honestly, after bananas, the next thing on the grocery list each week is milk. A few years ago, a coworker bought a flock of geese in my name for some poor village somewhere. At the time, I thought it was a nice gesture, but now I wish she would buy me a cow for my backyard. And, if it came with udders that provided both 2% and whole milk, that would be great.
Really Santa, I have been good. My nerves have been tested with these two kids, but I think I have done okay, so has Tod for that matter. See what you can do Mr. C. and we’ll see what we can do to keep your spirit alive on Greenwood for a few more years.
The big question with 4 to 5 year olds this time of year is whether or not they still believe in Santa Claus. Their belief in the Big Guy is tenuous at best, as there are many forces working against their desire to believe. Children see the multiple Santas around the malls and at parties and they begin to realize that the one doesn’t look like the other. They hear things from the older kids at day care, or at school. Maybe it’s sloppy hiding of presents by the parents, or a child who suddenly learns how to spell while their parents discuss P R E S E N T S over dinner. Most experts agree that when the child is ready, you have a sit down and ask them what THEY believe. You neither confirm nor deny, you simply nod your head and listen. But this morning presented a different problem. When do you tell your child about Mr. Hankey, the Christmas Poo? This morning, while getting ready, we let Eli play in the shower as Anna got dressed and Tod dried off. He likes to hang out and play in the water as it drips from the shower head, this distraction gives us time to get ourselves taken care of and to get Anna on the way to getting ready as well. This morning however, Eli had different plans. Instead of just playing, he used the shower as a toilet and dropped a Yule log right in the shower floor. I was still in my pajamas, so Tod was the lucky one who had to go in and clean up the deuce that Eli dropped while playing. Since the oral surgery on Tuesday, I have been on a myriad of drugs and my stomach has not been the best. I couldn’t take seeing or smelling the lump of coal that he delivered to us so I left the bathroom and began singing the “Mr Hankey” song from South Park as I helped Anna get ready. “Papa, who is Mr. Hankey?” she asked. Her little eyes were big with wonder and excitement as she posed this eternal question to me. I had a lump as big as Eli’s morning delivery in my throat as I told her that this was not the year to learn of the wonders of Mr. Hankey, and that when she was old enough, we would share in the magical story together. Perhaps around the fire with steaming mugs of hot chocolate and warm fuzzy sweaters. They grow up so fast I tell ya. It’s moments like this this that make the holiday season so exciting and magical . I am thankful for the story of Mr. Hankey, and I can’t wait to share it with Anna and Eli some day in the future. Until then, the faint calling of "Heigh-di-ho" will have to wait. Some day my children, some day.
This week, and this past month have been stressful for sure. I won’t lie, I am phoning this one in as I don’t have the time or energy to sit down and compose a big, brand new blog entry. Once next week is done, and the winter break begins, I can start focusing on some of the ideas that have been running around in my head but haven’t made it to the computer. This was posted a few weeks back by Adam at Bloghungry. We’re both new parents this year (me, again, him for the first time with his partner) and he had these pearls of wisdom to share. I asked if I could repost and he kindly obliged.
Since I entered fatherhood I have gone back to work two 6 hour days a week. That means that the other 156 hours a week are usually spent caring for an infant. This time has become an intense balance of cuteness and exhaustion that no one can ever understand that has not centered their life around it. That said, there are a few things I need to send out into the universe to help the world become a better place for new dads:
1. Do not offer criticism thinly veiled as advice to complete strangers on how to care for their children. Several times a day strangers offer me their two cents, as if to say "you're doing it wrong" about everything from the color of baby clothes to the suggestion of old world baby remedies. Combined with the stacks of baby books, internet articles, and dueling grandparent advice, it's enough to drive an already insane person postal.
2. If you see an overburdened parent carrying a diaper bag, shopping bags, and a baby take a second to hold the door for them or try to give them room to enter or exit the building.
3. Do not assume you have the right to cut in line or expect any special treatment from a sleep deprived dad with a screaming infant because you are a woman that believes in "chivalry".
4. When making plans to meet with a new parent you must be on time. Nap times, bed times, feeding schedules, and daily errands are often tightly scheduled and if missed can end in tears for all parties.
Great stuff Adam! What would you add to the list? I would like to add the people who give disapproving looks at us when we’re at restaurants and Eli makes a loud noise. We are always very careful to make sure we are out the door by 6 at the latest and we tend to go to family oriented places so we’re not messing up someone’s date night.
The blogger will be going under the knife tomorrow for two routine dental surgeries. One, a repair of the bone graft that was done back in summer as the previous dentist didn’t put enough in. Thanks asshole. More dead people's bones in my mouth. Neat. Second will be the removal of a sinus polyp that is currently blocking my right nostril. This should help with my snoring and constant sniffles.
Your thoughts and prayers are encouraged and appreciated.
And, if the dead DO come back to life, remember to cut off my head. Mkthnx.