Started playing chess…

Hey, I started playing chess again. I’m a pretty poor player, but the good news is that there are lots of other poor players out there too that still have fun with the game! Here’s a recent game of mine:

Express care

About to put Mayo Express Care to the test with our little 105 degree nugget.

Testing Subject

Testing Body. Okay, done testing, sorry.

Mr. Mom – day friggin’ 18

At last I am compelled to write.  18 days ago my wife had surgery – a hernia repair with an “abdominoplasty incision.”  That translates to stitches traversing the bottom of her abdomen from hip to hip.  And for the first few weeks she had a couple of nifty surgical drains that needed to be drained, measured, and otherwise cared for several times a day.  She’s still not to the point where she can lift anything over 10 pounds or sleep in a normal bed.   So basically what I am doing is caring for 3 children on my own, one of which tends to be exceptionally well behaved, but largely immobile.

Everyone’s been a trooper, and I, remarkably, have until today stayed healthy.  I say this because the 21 month old  is suffering from a cold and waking up at 2:30 am, almost on the dot, just about every night.  She will cry herself ragged until I take her in to bed with me.  If I’m really lucky, she just crashes and all I have to worry about is waking up with a start about every 3 minutes worrying about her rolling off the bed.  If I’m not lucky, she’ll be frisky and will take pleasure in dissecting my face with her little razor fingernails, trying to put her fingers as deeply down my throat or under my eyelids as possible.  In either case I am a zombie the next day when I pack everyone up for various activities – mostly school/pre-k oriented things.  But once the kids are in class/sibling care and the parents meet, I am among fellow zombies – some in significantly deeper than myself.

The things coming out of these kid’s mouths is amazing – although maybe only to other parents.  Check out the conversation with our four year old that I had today:

Child: “Daddy, are you really, really, really strong?”

Me: “Oh, strong enough I guess.  What would I have to pick up to be really, really, really strong?”

Child (without hesitation): “A piano.”

Meanwhile the 21 month has her finger jammed up her nose and exclaims joyously:  “I got it!”

Really there are so many worthwhile quotes that I don’t know where to start.  But I definitely feel the need to record them somewhere, so I guess this blog is as good a place as any.  Here are a few more… I’m too lazy for any transitional language.

“Do trees sleep?”

“When the world started, were we all babies?”

“You’re the only daddy that doesn’t know everything!”

“Do mashed potatoes turn into ice cream?”

“Does chocolate milk come from brown cows?”

“Be sure to talk to your doctor before having sex.”

Okay, okay, I’ll wrap this up.  Although the house looks very much like we went through an earthquake, the wheels of the family processes are still turning.  I’m frazzled to the point of silliness – and although I look forward to a projected 2 hour opportunity without kids days in advance, when the time comes all I really want to do is sit and drool.  And I think I might be growing soccer mom breasts.

On The Death of My Dog

My wife and I knew this little guy for 10 years, and our daughters knew him for all of their lives. We returned from a James Cotton concert to find him stiff as a little board, eyes open and still with their traditional twinkle. I figure we fed him 7600 times, probably took him for 7000 walks in the time we knew him. All he asked was enough food to keep him alive and the assurance that we knew he loved us. It’s a terrible thing to lose unconditional love.  But as corny as it sounds, I know in my soul of souls that his brave, loving little spirit lives on.  Godspeed my faithful little friend and companion.

Jesse - June 2 1999 - January 15 2010 - RIP

Ode to Plastic Lawn Animals and Billy

Here’s a little ditty from what I will call the “Archive series.”  What that essentially means is that I’m cleaning out my “Drafts” folder in a desperate attempt to avoid the labor of creative thought.  Bear in mind, most of these remained in the Drafts folder for a reason – but my standards have relaxed considerably lately due to the reality of having about one minute and eleven seconds of free time every day.  So, for better or for worse, let’s proceed:

[Archive 001 – from March, 2009]

On the way to catch the bus this morning I was thinking about what I was going to say to Billy.  Billy is a real character with a fake name.  If you want to figure it out his real name,  it has four letters.  There, I pretty much gave it away.   Anyway, Billy rides with a crew of special needs folks that happen to ride my bus.  You could say I’m on their bus I suppose… or that it’s just our bus, given that I have many needs, some of which are special.   At any rate, he’s in his late twenties, is very engaging, and I would guess his IQ is in the 60’s.  He has vision problems as well, because when he talks to me he’s always looking at something about 3 feet to the right of me, and about 10 feet behind me.   He tends to join me only if there isn’t an empty seat available next to a woman.  He loves his women.  LOVES his women.  Unfortunately not all of the women he sits next to love him, but he doesn’t let their reactive behavior influence his presentation in the least.  Everybody gets the same Billy, no exceptions.  Over the course of time they all eventually learn that he’s harmless, and it’s the exception when a women overtly rejects his verbal overtures or gets up and moves.  And if they do so, they quickly learn that moving probably isn’t the preferred solution since he merely continues his monologue at ear splitting volume, much to the chagrin of all the other riders whose headphones and ear buds have been rendered useless.

Billy’s interactions with me tend to be fairly scripted, based on whatever event might have come up within the past month or so.  For example, I back ended a guy in my car a few weeks ago, and told Billy about it.  From that point on, the first two sentences of his discourse with me are always the same:

“Did you do it on purpose?”

“Did you get your car fixed yet?”

After this we normally move on to the names of my children and their ages.  Then my manager’s name, and his wife’s name.  Somewhere in this timeframe he engages an imaginary person in hushed tones for about 5 minutes.  When we’re nearly at our destination, he asks which bus I’ll be riding home.  I answer “I might take the 4:42.”  Then he asks:

“You might or you will?”

He doesn’t usually hang around for the answer since, by this point, his concentration is entirely involved in getting queued up with his compatriots and their handlers for the bus departure.

Billy and I both ended up the way we are mostly as a result of circumstances beyond our control.  But on my way in this morning, while I was thinking about Billy, it occurred to me that there are plenty of things in life that we do have control over.  For instance, we have control over whether or not to put plastic animals on our lawn.  Face it, it’s an option – much like a Stadium Pal or X-Ray glasses.   It just so happens that many of the people in my neighborhood opt for the plastic animals, and it makes me want to pith them in a well meant attempt to relieve their suffering.  Granted, this is an extreme example of the nasty cards fate can deal – but you get the point.

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