Monthly Archives: June 2011

the aforementioned weird red headed turkey ducks


feeding the ducks. and fish. and these weird red headed turkey ducks.

don’t forget to scrub your butt dad

my dreams of having a cheering section during my showers have been realized. thanks to our glass shower doors and limited time in the day, i am reminded of what to clean and how to clean it by my wonderful daughters. a., donned in underwear, t-shirt and a baby backpack with who-knows-what in it, sat playing with her beads and cheering me on as i scrubbed 2 days of stank off my body. i know – 2 days? i did swim on monday – which is kind of like a shower. i know i could shower at night, but you know when you get the itch – you need to shower. the itch to shower not an itch to shower.

someday we will have our privacy and they will want theirs.

the empathy spider

it seems that telling others how to rationalize fear is always easier than doing it ourselves.

r. came home last night – the girls and i were ecstatic. h. did not want to let go and a. just loved giving her hugs and kisses. h. wanted momma so bad that she cried for 45 minutes before going to sleep. we checked in every 10 minutes or so to reassure her that she was okay, she finally cried herself out, but woke up several times in the night crying. always “momma, momma, momma?” i get a kick out of the last momma, it always sounds like a question. i’m sure it’s hard for r. to hear that when she comes home. a bit tired today to say the least. a. also woke up, she just needed to be put back in her bed. i think they are both adjusting to our new schedule and place that we live – plus momma was home and they missed her, as did i.

typically (like almost always) it can be very frustrating when kids cry and scream in the night – duh – it seems that nothing but your presence can comfort them. last night was different. now, don’t get me wrong i don’t prefer it, but i listened to the cry as if she was asking for help and wanted her mom and dad. okay fair enough. in wanting her mom and dad she is saying that she knows that we can fix whatever is bothering her. she still believes, and hopefully will for a long while, that we can help solve any problem she is having. this does not change the fact that i won’t get her out of bed, and that she needs to realize that we won’t come at every cry, but we are their everything and they look to us as the people who can help them no matter what. our job is to teach them to rely on themselves, and others, to navigate their way through life (long term goal andy, they are only 4 and 2 – it starts now though) i’m not expressing a new concept, rather a realization that they may not feel this way forever. the moment you realize that your parents don’t know the answer or can’t solve all the problems is a tough one. the “you’re human?” moment. i still don’t want to believe that one at times. just talking to myself – reminding myself.

as h. screamed her mind out, r. pointed out a huge spider on the floorboard by our bedroom. the difference between myself and r. is that she sees a spider and it’s a spider – i see a spider and i am sure we have a spider infestation. i wish i would have taken a picture of the spider. my mind did. the moments between h.’s screaming/crying were filled with the image of the spiders family crawling into bed with me, or did it just bite h.? is that why she is crying? i couldn’t shake it. i then thought of a. at the park the other day (see previous entry) and her fear of the fly. should i have sat myself next to the spider until i was calm and collected? instead i crushed the spider – pop – in a kleenex and thought about it all night. should i get poison? do we need an exterminator? what kind of spider house did we buy?

i must ask myself, would my parents have been comforted by me calling them at 2:00 am and sharing my fear of this spider? would they have answered the phone and felt a warm rush that their son still needed them – that i thought they could solve all of my problems. from that far away? how could you not hope your kids will still call you at the age of 34 and need your advice or share their fears? i’m guessing they would have said what i did to a. “get ahold of yourself it’s a spider.” of course there is a balance.

needing people. r. and i are independent. we are learning to let people help us. it’s hard.

bugs and carpet in the office

yes, i take weekends off. perhaps there is enough material there for another blog. let’s just say we had a nice weekend together and continue to settle in our home. the garage is set up – what a sweaty mess that was, and we met more neighbors.

we seem to fear what we can’t predict. when we know somethings intention and understand the next logical step in a process – which is the organized world – we are much more at ease. bugs don’t live in that world and a. doesn’t want to live in the bugs world. r. left for south carolina this morning and we headed to the state park on the mountain. it’s about a half hour away and a beautiful drive up a narrow corridor of trees that canopy the road. a. asked what the playground was like and i said it was a nature park not a playground park. we wound our way up through the park entrance – only $2 for the day and an all year pass is north of $125 – not sure we would use it that much. we turn the first corner into the park and find a humongous playground area. a. was besides herself and i kept eyeing the panoramic view that you could barely see through the trees. after our sunscreen spray downs (bug spray next time) we climbed, swung and jumped around at the playground. you know, it’s always a funny moment when your eyes are off of your child and they are by another child and that child falls or hurts themselves – did my sweet and precious daughter shove that girl? no way. hmmm. guess no one ever knows. after playing for a while i strongly urged that we go check out the view. a. was not into it and h. was happy to sip on her water and play “follow the leader”.  we were admiring the beautiful scenery when a pesky fly decided to fly by a.’s face and, just like the downpour of rain last week, she flipped lid.  now, i am not sure if i did the right thing, are we ever? unless of course they are on death row, then we may look back on a few moments we may have made mistakes — that time you watched them cut the tail off of the neighbor cat or pull the legs off of frogs, while laughing and whispering “now you’re mine”. yah, that may have been a sign to get help.  perhaps those are not “phases”.  i insisted that she sit there until she calmed down and understood that the fly was not going to hurt her.  well, this upped the screaming to a new level and the nice grandma with her poodle and nine year old granddaughter, all the stoners in the woods, and anyone else out to find some quiet i’m sure loved my approach.  but – sat there we did and she finally relaxed enough to wipe her eyes and ask to go to the car.  we did – h. wanted to take the long way (i think her almost 2 year old mind is grasping what may upset her big sister).  we left the park and had a quiet ride home.

the rest of the day was lunch, nap, thrift stores (daddy it smells funny in here), dinner, pool, and popsicle.

oh, there is carpet in my office.  i think it took 45 minutes to do, which left me (of course) thinking that i could have done it myself.  time to unpack years of oddities that i haven’t surrounded myself with for a long time. this is my “geek out” space. i am hoping a space of my own will bring inspiration.

yesterday – the dmv

well, yesterday was eatin’ by the dmv or DeeeUmVay. evidently from 12-12:45 the people who work at the dmv take lunch, and the rest of us wait until it’s over. we got there at 11:45. r. came with to hang with the girls while i officially, at least by license, became an alabamian. we also plated the vehicles.
yesterday morning was finger painting, which ended with the necessary paint in hair. we had fun and getting messy is part of the gig. i enjoy most when they are both creating in their own worlds, without direction, and for me it takes a conscious effort to not direct – hey, i’m good at it.
r., a.,h. and i (no oxford comma for you mister sentence) went to bridge street and played in the water. hot days and cool water. we then rocked our suits to a local cafe, cafe 153, which without provocation the woman working the counter assured us (not knowing we didn’t need the assurance and don’t believe in their insurance) that cafe 153 was a biblical reference. i had to ask what – evidently that is the number of fish jesus netted one day. no where near babe winkelman. dinner was very good and we all got our mango juice fix – a. has been eating like a mad woman. i think she’s going through a spurt. she told me yesterday about TeeLee – do you know about this? it is a sad song that she sings to go to bed. she said “it’s a sad song dad and then i wake up happy. you know that is the way life is sad and happy.” wowza
she also shared that the marbles that she gets for sleeping through the night aren’t exciting. what on earth does she know about that is possibly more exciting than marbles. having said that she woke this morning excited to trade the five marbles in for a trip to the children’s museum and feeding the fish and ducks at the spring. both girls were heavenly this morning, at least a hundred and fifty three smiles, and everything was clicking. the end to our first week staying home together.
structure, flexibility and slowing down – my first week lessons.
r. and i are also working on eliminating “no” and just saying what behavior we would like to see in it’s place. the word “no” is a trap and power struggles are ridicules — yet we all have them.
h. is sleeping like a baby and a. is with r. getting new glasses. r. has been able to join us through out the day and we are excited to have our weekend together. she is the best mom i could imagine. we are not traditional by structure, so we have heard from enough people, but it works for us – finding our roles in our lives together makes it a heck of a lot easier and gives us more time than if we were playing roles that were not true to our nature.
did i mention my “office” gets carpeted on monday?
well, going to build some shelves while h. sleeps.
i hear thunder.
i stand near confusion.
i eat green vegetables.
i touch dirty keys.
i smell forced air carpeting.

rain rain…

a. woke up quite proud to have earned her third marble after again sleeping through the night. she had developed a bad habit after her tonsil/adenoid surgery – waking in the middle of the night screaming for mom or dad. i’m sure at first it was real pain. by the way adenoid not adenoids or as our doctor suggested “i could split it in half if you want”. anyhow, i was pretty spent this morning after a night on the patio with r. (my insanely awesome counter weight) and then watching marijuana documentaries on netflix. pretty interesting stuff. one followed the growing season of four groups in northern california. after breakfast, which h. decided to destroy before eating, we headed to the library for story time. a great animated woman was telling stories about animals decisions as they go through the woods and meet obstacles. the girls were shy at first and ended up enjoying the up and down hand clapping. also some giraffe finger painting – a. decided making the giraffe’s poop first would be more entertaining. there was a great bonus at the library – two stay at home dads – i don’t think they were dad #1 and dad #2. after story time they were heading to dublin park (a huge great park with swimming, playground, frisbee golf, and soccer fields) . i overheard this and creepily, cause introducing myself at a few points during the story telling would have been awkward, i made my way to dublin park. i was totally going there anyway.

and this brings us to the first rain of the day.

as we wound our way to the top of the hill where a castle park was perched the rain started to gently fall. a. exclaimed that she loved rain and insisted we get out and explore the park. h. and i didn’t share her enthusiasm, but after seeing her face i started to mind trip on how awesome this must seem to her young mind and i spun away from my jaded adult “god i’m going to get wet” mentality and embraced the rain. we had fun until the rain got a little more serious and we decided it best to get home. oh – my office gets carpet on monday which is really cool cause i will have my own space to not only decorate with my floral pattern window treatments, but to write focused (more focused) blogs.
we got home, ate lunch, met the carpet lady, and h. woke up.

“let’s go for a walk to the creek and feed the fish” a. says. “well a. it looks like rain.” to which she replies “i love the rain dad. remember this morning i totally love the rain”
a. peddling like mad to the creek on her trike and h. in a stroller. a. is the “line leader” and h. and i are along for the ride. i tried to creep past her a few times, but was quickly reminded of my place in the parade. as we got half way through the park i clue a. in that the rain is coming and we better hurry up a bit. the sky started to darken and a lone woman walker heading back to her banged up beamer smiled through “it’s coming i checked the radar”
a. started to peddle a bit faster and my legs started to chop. we had to pass over grass and red clay that was already wet from the morning “happy” rain. as we round into our subdivision the rain starts, our pace quickened and a.’s love of rain fell into question. one, two, three downpour. we asked a lady if we can cut through her yard “it’s a bit uphill and narrow but yes”
i had the trike on my back and was one handing the stroller through narrow black mud/red mud shit storm as a. is screaming her head off. we started to push through an empty red mud lot and the stroller stops. i pick up the stroller, the trike and a. continues to yell at the world, cry, and to her credit run back through the lot to get her sisters water bottle. all the while three men in nice attire watch the display from a porch.
we made it to the garage and a. says she never will like rain again. it took her a good 20 minutes to get herself together and h. was totally unaffected – of course she had a cover over her the whole time. we all took 5 minute breathers in our own rooms – a nice way of saying i couldn’t handle any more crying and shivering — okay – i’m not cold, really, it was pretty over the top dramatic and i just couldn’t keep consoling a. – when i knew she was fine.

we rounded out the afternoon with a dj dance party – that ended when the dj claimed he was the “real motherfucker” – whoops. “we all know daddy’s the real motherfucker” i said and turned the liar off.

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