Friday, October 26, 2007

The Twenty Worst Minutes of My Life

I just cut a hunk of skin out of my sweet, innocent, trusting baby boy's thumb! I was cutting his nails, so confident because I've never even nicked him in three months time that I decided I could do it while he was awake, piece of cake!

Oh, the blood, the screaming. I finally managed to get some antibiotic goop on it, wrapped it crudely in two bandages, and stuck a mitten over the whole thing. Now he's chewing on it contentedly. I've never said, "I'm sorry!" that many times in so short a period before.

Don't tell Mrs. Rodius. I'll tell her he got mauled by wild dogs, or something.

Happy Kissiversary!

I wasn't going to blog this one, and I didn't take a picture, because I was too embarrassed to make two Martha Stewart references in a single week. But what the hell. The kid's asleep, and I can't think of anything else to blog about while I'm not folding the laundry, so here you go.

Yesterday was the fifteenth anniversary of the first time Mrs. Rodius kissed me and I kissed her back, so Thumper and I decided to make a nice dinner, by which I mean that he slept long enough for me to make a nice dinner. After our morning walk, we shopped for the ingredients, then he commenced to napping. I made a baked turkey tenderloin, cranberry relish, roasted carrots and sweet potatoes, a salad, and a cherry almond cake. It was all from scratch (except the pre-marinated Honeysuckle White tenderloin), and all from two different issues of Everyday Food, which in my defense, I subscribed to as part of my nephew's school fundraiser, and I didn't know it was a Martha Stewart publication until much later. I mean, it's not like I have a Martha Stewart fetish, or anything. Come on, people! Get off my back! It's not like I've started watching Oprah or anything!

OK, maybe I'm a little defensive about the Martha Stewart thing.

On the cake, in decorator icing, I wrote, "Happy Kissiversary" and drew a little heart. I wish I'd taken a picture of it, but maybe it's best that I didn't. My cake-writing apparently isn't that legible; Mrs. Rodius squinted at it and said, "Happy Kiss... Kiss... Kiss what?"

And since it all began with margaritas all those years ago, I made margaritas. They were nearly lethal, since I followed the recipe that said 3:2:1, tequila:cointreau:lime juice. Mrs. Rodius drank about a third of hers, pronounced it a little too strong, and made me drink the rest of it. So what could I do? I had to drink it. I mean, Cointreau isn't cheap; those were like $12 margaritas. I couldn't let it go to waste! And then I had to finish the last one left in the pitcher. I didn't want the lime juice to go bad.

Happy Kissiversary, Mrs. Rodius!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Hasty Halloween!

I intended to nap with Thumper this morning, but then Martha Stewart came on the Today show and inspired me. Not that what I did even remotely resembles anything she was doing, but she filled me with a sense of my responsibility as a homeowner and a parent to participate in seasonal festivities. So Thumper and I made some good ol' fashioned homemade Halloween decorations, by which I mean he slept long enough to allow me to make some good ol' fashioned homemade Halloween decorations. I was ever aware of the naptime countdown clock ticking away in the other room, so they're a little hastily made. But since cheapness counts, they were made with materials on hand. Of course, I didn't make the sash around the door; that's left over from last year. We finished moving into the house two or three days before Halloween, and we needed something to signal our state of candy-readiness to the new neighbors. I made the rest of it though. I used the pad of construction paper I bought a few years ago when I made paper roses for Mrs. Rodius for Valentines Day. That pad didn't have any black in it, perhaps because that would be too depressing a color for young minds to handle, or maybe because the black's faded in the intervening years. So the cat and bats are more like a purply-brown color, but I don't think that detracts from their Halloweeny splendor. I might even do a real jack-o-lantern this weekend. You can't do those things too far in advance around here, as jack-o-lanterns take about ten minutes to rot in balmy Central Texas. We do loves us some roasted pumpkin seeds, though.

Hasty Halloween, y'all!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


The automatic doors opened as I approached the grocery store, and a three- or four-year-old boy came tearing out at top speed, his cape flapping behind him.

"Don't run!" his mother shouted as she pushed their cart out after him.

But really, I ask you, can you let the boy wear his cape and expect him not to fly?

Today's Privilege is Tomorrow's Right

I told myself not to count on it, but sometime in the last three or four weeks, I guess I kind of did. My crankiness did spill forth when the boy woke up not once, but twice, in the wee hours last night. Sorry, Mrs. Rodius.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Week One in Review

All in all, a pretty good first week on the job:

We took four walks. I even got over my fear of a screaming infant in public and took him the full three-mile loop. He slept through the entire thing, but I could tell he thought the parts with the sand-and-gravel trails were a little unnecessary.

I did ten minutes of yoga; Rodney Yee may have been a little ambitious a choice, though.

We went on our first playdate with the Austin Stay-at-Home Dads. They seemed like a great bunch. The majority of kids were boys in the 2-year-old range, so in about a year, they'll be the kids that Thumper desperately wants to be like and follows all over the playground. There are members with kids Thumper's age, but we haven't met them yet. We'll try to make another playdate this week.

I got a couple of things checked off my List of Things I'll Get Around to Someday, like laying down brick under the gate, apparently successfully thwarting that damn dog that likes to crap in my yard. I also dug up the stupid footpath that used to run from the deck stairs to the shed. When Pops and I screened in that deck, though, we moved the stairs, so the path ran from a flower bed to the shed. And besides it was made of loose, uneven stones, so if somebody actually decided to walk on it, he would be in grave danger of spraining an ankle.

I worked my first event as a part-time usher at the 17,000 seat arena. It was a small, polite crowd, perfect for my first event. I worked the door, scanning tickets, and so help me, it was actually fun!

Thumper is staring at me. He fell asleep in light and noise, and woke up when I put him in dark and quiet. Go figure. I guess I still need to figure out how to fit this whole blogging thing in, what with the dishes and diapers and laundry and cooking and walking and whatnot. It's frankly amazing their are so many parenting blogs out there. How do you people fit it in??

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Now That's Funny

His first sustained round of belly laughs tonight. I stripped off his onesie before his bath and blew a raspberry on his belly, as I'm wont to do. Tonight, that was the funniest thing he'd ever seen in his life. Of course, he saw it yesterday, but apparently my comedic timing was off then. Tonight, I was on. That belly raspberry is pure, timeless, comedy gold.


It is a tasty fist, but wily. It teases him with just a lick, or a nibble, then darts spryly away again. It bounces back and forth, just beyond his range, laughing at him. He sleeps, resting up for their next game of chess, their next showdown. He has drooly dreams, the fist at his mercy. He chews and chews and chews.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

First Day Jitters

Because today is my first day on the new job, and since Thumper spent most of his non-eating, waking hours yesterday fussing, here are a few good things to remind me that not all days are like yesterday:

He wakes up smiling, like he's just so happy to see us again. Even when he's crying because he hasn't eaten in eight hours, he smiles while he cries.

He loves getting his diaper changed. Laying him on the table and ripping that first piece of velcro almost always makes him grin.

He is fascinated by watching me eat. I'm not sure what he's thinking, but he studies up like there's going to be a test.

He has slept through every night since he decided it was a good thing to do. One day he wasn't, the next he was, and he's done it every night since. Sometimes he's up late, and sometimes he's awake early, but still, no 3am feedings for a few weeks now.

And really, do they come any cuter?

Friday, October 12, 2007

Meet the New Me

There's something awkward about meeting the person who's replacing me. She seems nice enough, but over the next few months, she's going to be working at distinguishing herself from me. She'll get sick of hearing my name, or seeing my initials scribbled on documents. She'll snort derisively when she sees that I filed that document here, and not there. She'll notice every one of my typos and mistakes. She'll get a new desk because mine doesn't fit right, and besides, it's filthy. And that chair; don't get me started on that chair. For God's sake, why would he take the arms off of it, and what exactly is that stain anyway?

Well, good luck to her. She's started off right; she brought food. If you feed these people, they'll never get rid of you.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

End of Days

Tomorrow will be my last day at the office. Well, sort of, because I'll be coming back for some part-time work in the evenings and on weekends, and there's a good possibility for some from-home database consulting work, too. But more or less, I'm two days away from the end of full-time employment and the beginning of full-time baby wranglin'.

A lot of people have been asking me if I'll miss it, and mostly I've been saying, "Hell, no." That's not exactly true. I like where I work. I like what we do. I like most of my co-workers. It has its unpleasant bits, as every job does. But for the most part, it's been a good time. It just hasn't been a meaningful time. While Mrs. Rodius has a career that means a lot to her, and is even in some ways an extension of her personality and an expression of what she wants to accomplish in her life, my job was (see how I'm already speaking of it in the past tense?) little more than a paycheck and a time filler.

There's kind of a sub-culture of workers hating this place and shaking their fists angrily at the grave injustices visited upon them by the higher-ups. It's really a pretty good deal, though, with good benefits and low performance expectations, as I think I've demonstrated with my heavy at-work blogging schedule. I think that kind of "this place is so messed up" feeling is probably pretty common to most offices. But it means that the other thing people say to me when they hear that I'm leaving is, "God, I hate you." To which the only appropriate reply, and I think you'll agree, is:

Nyah nyah nyah nyah nyaaaaaaahhhh nyah!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

In the Beginning

anniemcq emailed me this morning to make sure I understood that she was not offended that I used her sweet, innocent child as the starting point to a story about anonymous sex in public spaces. She also expressed the desire to give my pea-coated, pipe-smoking, bearded nineteen-year-old self a hug. It occurred to me that my nineteen-year-old self could've used a hug, and it was a good thing he connected soon thereafter, despite himself, with the future Mrs. Rodius.

So, even though I should probably be saving up this kind of thing for NaBloPoMo, I thought it was the perfect time to tell the story of "How Mrs. Rodius and I Met and Didn't Murder Each Other."

She lived on the floor below mine in the dorm, which, rumor had it, had once been a mental hospital. There were strange inserts in the doors that I heard used to be removable for shoving trays of food through to the nutjobs. I wished I'd lived in the dorm across the street, which was dark, musty, and mazelike, with low ceilings and uneven floors. It was rumored to be haunted.

My first impression of Mrs. Rodius was that she was definitely out of my league. She was a sophomore, and I was a freshman. She's four months younger than I, but I had spent my first year out of high school taking only a couple of classes at the local community college before following my Brandeis-attending girlfriend to Boston. We maintained a long-distance relationship for a year after high school, but within a month of me moving to Boston, that girlfriend had dumped me. She liked me more when she saw me less.

Mrs. Rodius was confident. She had friends. She walked with authority, thumping her heels through the hallway like she had places to go and people to see. She had a boyfriend who wore a fireman's coat. It was the coolest coat I'd ever seen, much better than my pea coat and felt cap. I was jealous of him in his coat. He also had a job at the college radio station, and you can't get much cooler than that. I later found out, though, that the coat really was his best feature.

I was also in the same French class as Mrs. Rodius. I had two years of French in high school, but Mrs. Rodius had no previous French experience. She had taken Russian instead, a fact that made her even more intimidating. But she was defensive about the fact that she was behind the rest of the class due to her lack of previous experience in French. I was a little cocky because I felt sure my pronunciation was lightyears ahead of the rest of the class, what with my familiarity with Inspector Clouseau and all. Consequently, I thought she was a bitch, and she thought I was an ass.

Our professor was much amused by our interactions in class and decided always to pair us together in classroom exercises. He even took me aside after class one day and asked me to take her under my wing, as it were, and correct her pronunciation at every opportunity, thereby jacking up my ass factor considerably. Our annoyance for each other began to really blossom over the first few months of the semester into a deep and abiding dislike.

Over time, though, our dormroom proximity and my tendency to skip class for no good reason began to bring us together. We came to each other to find out what homework assignments we may have missed. She began to spend more and more time in my room, finding great pleasure in toying with one of my roommates who was, incredibly, an even greater ass than I. We discovered a shared appreciation for Captain Morgan and Diet Coke. She started treating my roommate and I very well at the sandwich shop at which she worked, one of a couple of jobs she held while paying her own way through school. I was impressed by that, because I was attending entirely on my parents' dime, as were most of the student body there. And for the most part, those who had it the easiest were achieving the least.

By the time the school year ended, we'd become good friends. She dumped the boyfriend with the cool coat, whose ass factor was also greater than mine, though perhaps not greater than my roommate's. With the free ride from my parents ending, I couldn't afford to come back to school after the summer, but I moved into an apartment with my roommate, who wanted to stay close since he would be returning. So by the next fall semester, I was working full-time and no longer a part of the college community, though I stayed close to it.

Mrs. Rodius went back to her parents' home for the summer and returned in the fall looking absolutely smoking. She'd worked out all summer, partly out of revenge against the ex-boyfriend, and she looked amazing. I honestly didn't realize that I was attracted to her, though. I wrote SWSIL (Social Worker Sister-in-Law) a letter telling her about my good female friend, and how nothing would ever happen between us because our friendship was too strong.

Five days after I sent that letter, the roommate and I were throwing a party; Mrs. Rodius was working late that night and would miss most of the party, but I invited her to come over after work for a margarita and a massage. I think she believes that this was me being smooth, but honestly, smooth was not in my repetoire. She came over long after the party had petered out. We sat on the couch and talked. Eventually, she asked me, "What would you do if I kissed you?" I think I said something like, "I'd probably kiss you back." And so we did. Now, fifteen years later, there's finally a third attendee at the party. I'm glad he's here, but it's strange no longer being alone on the couch together, after all this time.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Welcome to the Big City, Sailor

Joe-Henry's pipe dream reminded me of the fall and winter of 1991. I was out of my parents' house for the first time, living in the big city, and trying to redefine myself. I was also reading Moby Dick. I think the half adventure novel/half 19th century whaling manual had a powerful influence on my redefinition: I began wearing a black pea coat, a black felt cap with a braided brocade above the short visor, and I smoked cherry tobacco out of a carved meerschaum pipe. I liked to sit along the banks of the Charles and stare wistfully across the water with the cold, wet wind reddening my bearded cheeks.

It seems to me now a laughably pretentious way for a nineteen-year-old to behave, but at the time it felt artistic.

On one such occasion, sitting on a bench on the Esplanade near the Mass. Ave. Bridge and puffing contemplatively on my pipe, I was approached by a middle-aged man on a bicycle. He asked me what I was smoking, and I told him. Then he asked me if I wanted a blowjob. It was an unexpected turn in the conversation.

Once I'd assured him that I did not, in fact, want a blowjob, he sat down on the bench beside me and we chatted for about a half hour. He expressed surprise that I reacted as I did. In his experience, his proposition was usually answered either in the affirmative or with violence or threats of violence. He apologized for being presumptuous but pointed out that I was an unaccompanied young man sitting in what was traditionally a gay pick-up spot. The playground a few blocks away, or more specifically, the bushes around the playground, was apparently a notorious location for anonymous sex. This explained why, some nights before, when I was walking through that same playground, a dishevelled and rather pudgy older man had emerged from those bushes, wiped the back of his hand across his mouth, and asked me how I was doing. He maintained eye contact for, to me, an inappropriately long moment. I told him I was fine and kept walking.

As we sat on the bench talking, my new friend told me that he had, for ten years or more, taken nightly bike rides along the Esplanade, offering oral sex to mostly lonely Boston University students. He was married, with two children. He did not consider the students to be gay; they were just lonely and in need of a little release. He did not consider himself gay; he never asked for or expected reciprocation from the students. It was just something he liked to do. His family had no idea what his true hobby was; they just assumed he was out for the exercise.

So we chatted awhile. He pointed out the giant, erect penis of the Bunker Hill Monument, proudly overlooking the city. Eventually, he got back on his bicycle and prowled slowly along the riverbank towards B.U. I got up, too, but not too quickly. I strolled carelessly back up to the lights of the streets above. After that, I started doing my artistic brooding elsewhere.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Little League Psychic Blacksmiths

Little Thumper had quite the busy weekend. Judging by the number of hours he spent sleeping yesterday, I think we may have overstimulated the boy on Saturday. Either that, or the sleep, combined with the vast quantities of breastmilk and formula he's consuming, mean that he's going to be four feet tall by next weekend.

First, Grandma and Grandpa stopped by Friday night to lay eyes and hands upon him. They seemed satisfied by his progress so far and generally agreed with me that he is the cutest baby ever.

Then Thumper and I gave Mrs. Rodius a chance to get some work done in preparation for her return to the office next week. We began by spectating at his cousin's baseball game. Grandma immediately declared that I was holding him wrong so that she could take possession of him. He wasn't quite sure what to make of the enthusiasm of the superfan sitting next to her, but he was delighted to see Auntie SWSIL again. She makes intriguing and unpredictable noises that sometimes make him laugh and sometimes make him ponder their subtler nuances of meaning. All in all, he was an excellent sports fan and caused Big Brother to comment on his remarkable portability.

After lunch, we accompanied Grandma and Grandpa to the Body, Mind, Spirit Expo. He fell asleep on the way over, and slept through the entire experience, despite what Grandma described as the dissonant energy filling the space. It made her sweat, but Thumper was undisturbed. As he slept, he had a brief chat with Grandma's coach and book collaborator. He told her that he has a lot of energy in his hands that he doesn't know what to do with, he sometimes gets headaches and finds it soothing to have his hair stroked, and he doesn't like for people to mess with his feet. We three adults also had photos taken of our auras; not surprisingly, mine was burnt orange. Coincidentally, we then went home to watch the Red River Shootout, which is no longer a Shootout because that's too violent in this age of terrorism. I think now it's just a Rivalry.

Grandpa, Thumper, and I watched the game while Grandma forced Mrs. Rodius to take a break and actually do the clothes shopping she wanted to do before returning to the office. This was the first Texas-OU game in four or five years that I didn't actually attend, but I didn't really miss it. I've done it enough now that the anticipation is outweighed by the dread of the drive, and the parking, and the jamming myself into the undersized and antiquated stadium with all those other folks, not to mention enduring the brutal ridicule of those nasty, nasty OU fans after a loss.

Watching the game was fun, but a little exhausting. I have a whole new respect for what Mrs. Rodius has accomplished by staying home with him all day every day these past two weeks. I didn't realize how much energy it takes to keep a tiny, relatively immobile lump entertained like that. When I mentioned to Mrs. Rodius on her return that Thumper had been a little fussy, Grandpa commented that oh, he wasn't that bad; he only fussed for a half hour or so. Yeah, he only fussed for a half hour or so because I spent the entire three hours or more walking, bouncing, shifting, singing, playing, making faces, and otherwise accomodating his five-minute attention span. Mrs. Rodius and I have decided that he gets bored very quickly and frustrated very easily by his lack of control over his own body. We have also decided that this is evidence of his remarkable intelligence. But man, I'll be glad when the boy can hold a rattle and shove it in his mouth for five minutes without demanding that I dance for him! Dance for him now!

So Thumper conked out later that evening and slept all night again. And slept on the way to breakfast, and then through breakfast. And then most of the rest of the morning. In the afternoon, we went to a birthday party out in the heat at Pioneer Farms, a volunteer-staffed working farm that operates as it would have in 1851 (excepting the hay ride driven by the Kubota front-loader, and the more-or-less working toilets in the main house). We thought it was an odd choice for a nine-year-old girl's birthday party, but another of Thumper's cousins tore through the entire Laura Ingalls Wilder collection and decided Pioneer Farms was the place for her. The blacksmith was a big hit with the kids, but Thumper gleaned no educational value from the experience, as he slept through almost all of it. On the way home, he did cry out his indignation at waking and finding himself in the car yet again, but he soon wore himself out and slept the rest of the way home. He stayed awake through most of the evening, but was rather more subdued than he had been the day before. He went to bed around 1am, and was still asleep when I left at 7 this morning. I think Mrs. Rodius is in for it today.

So good luck, Mrs. Rodius! Here's hoping that his motor skills take a quantum leap this week before I become Chief Operating Officer of the Childcare Division!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

I've been thinking about age-appropriateness lately, ever since I finished reading the Harry Potter series. I just sent my soon-to-be-9-year-old niece an email asking her what she thought about it. She's always been remarkably self-policing when it comes to the idea of age-appropriate reading or viewing material, telling her parents, "I don't think I'm old enough for this." As I read Harry Potter, it seemed less and less like a story for children. I suppose it grew up with the kids who began reading it when it was new, but what about the kids who don't have the slowing influence of consecutive release dates and who finish the last book only slighter older than they were when they started the first? And do you read everything before your kids read it, or do you just trust the marketing?

With my reminiscences about "Super Mario Bros." and the glory days of my youth hanging out with a bad element, I've also been thinking about what my disclosure policy will be. I hope that I will be able to talk to Thumper intelligently about drug use and other behaviors that are a bad idea for a variety of reasons. I think our discourse will go beyond, "Drugs are bad, mmm-kay?" But if he asks me about my own history and whether or not I ever engaged in any of those bad behaviors, how honest will I be?

I tend to think I won't be particularly forthcoming, since my story does not work very well as a cautionary tale: "Don't do drugs, son, because I did drugs, and nothing very bad happened to me at all, except that I really wasted a lot of time and money." Of course, my story is more complicated than that, and there are greater nuances to what I learned by living on the very fringes of a drug-centric community for a number of years, but to what degree are those nuances relevant or comprehensible to a [fill-in-the-blank]-year-old? And by the way, what age DO you fill in the blank?

For instance, I could express how pathetic it is for a forty-year-old man to spend his time in the company of middle- and high-school students as they pool their resources in the daily quest for the next quarter-ounce, all the while being ridiculed behind his back by those same middle- and high-school students. I could try to describe the revulsion that comes from watching someone spend a half hour smoking dirt and lint and crumbs after bumping the magazine he'd spread his crack on and spilling it on onto a white carpet. I could speak of folks in their thirties, forties, fifties, still earning a low hourly wage in fast food restaurants and grocery stores because their lifestyle tends to lead to them quitting or getting fired on a regular basis. But those things won't really affect the attitude of an indestructible young man who would never choose to become any of those people but who doesn't really understand the effect of small, incremental choices made over the course of many years.

Anybody out there had the "Stay in School; Don't Do Drugs" talk with their kids? How did you approach it?

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Lessons that "Super Mario Bros." Can Teach Us All

A co-worker has eased my final days in the workforce by pointing me to a site where one can play a whole slew of old Nintendo games online. Though I spent my youth mostly playing the arcade versions and not the home console versions, the graphics on most of them are slightly altered from what I remember. But not my sweet, sweet Super Mario. It is exactly as I remember. If this makes your A and B fingers involuntarily begin twitching, you are probably the same age, and I suspect the same gender, as I.

What amazes me most about rediscovering this game is the degree of detail with which I still remember it. I'm finding hidden 1-Up's and coin boxes that I haven't thought about in 20 to 22 years. Which I suppose goes to show the level of obsession with which I played this game after school at the 7-11. So in fond remembrance, here are the Life Lessons One Can Draw from a Nintendo Classic:

1. Yes, you can memorize it, whatever it is. Repetition is the key to memory. If I can still remember how to skip ahead to level 4, you can memorize that poem. You may have to read it over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over, but eventually you'll wear a path into your neural pathways that will still be there long after you're no longer capable of remembering the name of the actor in the movie about the guy who did the thing.

2. When the fish are flying, sometimes it's best to just put your B button down, keep movin', and hope for the best.

3. Keep your eyes and your mind open, because you never know when you're going to stumble across that vine into the sky where all the gold coins are floating among the clouds, ripe for the pickin'.

4. Widespread availability of information is a good thing, but there's something to be said for good ol' human interaction. You can Google the locations of all the secrets, but there was a camaradarie in learning about them from the guy standing next to you watching you play, who learned about them by standing next to some other guy watching him play. And bumming his cigarettes.

5. Commercialism is running rampant. I ask you, where today can you find a form of paid entertainment that you can enjoy for hours at a time for a buck or less?

6. OK, I don't really have a 6. Let's face it; 4 and 5 were a little iffy on the whole life lesson concept already. But man, those were some fine times, hanging out at the 7-11 after school with the dope-smoking, cigarette-bumming layabouts and ne'er-do-wells, hoping one of them would call his mom for a ride so they could drop you off, but eventually having to hump it back home for dinner anyway. Ah, good times...

Ha! The co-worker who showed me where to find these old games just came into my office to reminisce about his good ol' days game, something called "Contra." That one wasn't one of mine, but I understood the faraway look in his eye as he talked about the summer of 1987. When I said, "Yeah, it's amazing we still remember all that after twenty years," he stepped back and looked at me in shock. "That wasn't twenty years..." Uh, yeah. It was. 1987 doesn't seem like twenty years gone. Man, we're old. But I still know where that green and yellow mushroom's hidden, so no worries.

Monday, October 1, 2007

Weekend Update, Without Norm MacDonald

Does that date me? The Norm MacDonald thing? I almost said that other guy that would've dated me even more, that smarmy, sarcastic, superior jerk with the vocabulary that's better than yours and whose name I can't think of. You know, he's played the bearded friend who gets killed in a couple of movies, like Sandra Bullock's The Net, and something else I can't think of. What's his name? Hang on a sec, I'm going to have to IMDB it. Oh, yeah. Dennis Miller. Maybe it was Murder at 1600 that was the other movie where he was the bearded friend that got killed. I don't remember. I watch way too many movies. Or I used to. Since the Coming of Thumper, my Netflix traffic is way down. Maybe I should downgrade to the "two at a time" membership level, instead of the three.

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, the weekend. We had a great weekend! Well, Texas got beat (again) by Kansas State, so that was bad. Poor Colt; if he never wanted to play again, I'd understand. He was bouncing off the grass like a quarter off a Marine's bed. I'm surprised he kept getting up again. But Oklahoma lost, too, so that was good! But not by as much, so that's bad. But by a heartbreaking, last-minute field goal, so that's good! Go, Buffs!

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, the weekend. And how well-rested I am. I'm well-rested, but I've still had three cups of coffee out of habit. Last week, I needed the three cups just to keep from collapsing in a heap on the floor under my desk, but when I'm well-rested and in a good mood, the coffee kind of makes me a little wired. Can you tell? Do I seem wired? I feel a little wired. I bet I'm coming across as a little wired here.

Wait, what was I talking about again?

Oh yeah, Thumper. He slept. At night. A lot. Saturday night, he ate at 9, 1:30, and 6:30. And he slept everywhere in between! Huzzah! And even better, he ate at 10 last night and 5 this morning, and he slept everywhere in between! And Mrs. Rodius got up for the 5 a.m. feeding, so I slept! Thanks, Mrs. Rodius!

She's been very kind and allowed me to sleep most of the night every night last week so I wouldn't wreck the car on the way to work. So this weekend, I tried to return the favor and give her as much peace and rest as I could. I cooked, I cleaned, I swept, I vacuumed, I did laundry. The best part was SWSIL (Social Worker Sister-in-Law). She's made it clear that she's very interested in being involved in Thumper's life, and she's made repeated offers to help us out when we need it. During the first month or so after Thumper was born, she brought us loads of food, too. Three different times! We've always loved SWSIL and Big Brother, and their whole family; SWSIL has always been one of my favorite people in the world ever since Big Brother stole her away from his best friend when they were still in high school. But now, we're definitely writing her into the will.

SWSIL came over Saturday afternoon and took care of Thumper for a couple of hours while Mrs. Rodius relaxed and I got some work done. She wasn't even scared off when he decided that was the perfect two hours to spend doing some of his best fussin'. He even hit her a few times with that lip-quivering, losing-his-voice wail, and she still wasn't scared off. He even spewed some of his chunkiest cottage cheese formula vomit on her, and she still wasn't scared off. She walked him, bounced him, sang to him, rocked him, strolled him, and showed him ceiling fans and light fixtures to stare at. She was determined not to leave until he was happy, so that he wouldn't have any negative associations with her. She was so determined, she was late picking up her own kids, but she succeeded in the end. She's a keeper, that SWSIL.

So Thumper and I visited her and her family at their house Sunday, to give Mrs. Rodius some more time off. Thumper rewarded her for her perseverance by only spewing a tiny bit of non-chunky breastmilk vomit on her, smiling generously at her attempts to entertain him, and taking a bottle from her, burping, and falling asleep. Apparently you have to survive the trial by fire before he'll give you the good stuff.

So God bless you, SWSIL, and thanks for wanting to see more of our kid. Sorry I teased you on Sunday by saying I'd brought him over so you could make him cry again, since he slept so well Saturday night, after all that crying. I'm sorry, too, for the joy I received from the fact that Thumper immediately stopped crying when I took him from you for a few minutes Saturday afternoon and started crying again when I gave him back. Well, no, really I'm not sorry for that. That was actually pretty awesome. Thanks for that, too! You're the best!
Related Posts with Thumbnails