Saturday, February 28, 2009

I'm Sorry I'm Not Commenting on Your Blog

All I could think to say was, "Absolutely." Or, "Fucking-A." Or, "Wow. I love reading your stuff." Or, "Heh. That's funny." You know. Totally useless contributions. But I know you like comments like I like comments. So, I'm sorry. I'll try to do better. Usually it's because I read it, and I want to make a meaningful comment, but I don't have time. So I tell myself I'll do it later. And then later becomes much later. And then I feel like the moment's kinda passed. So anyway. Thanks! I dig your blog!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Tales From the Playground: Welcome to the Real World, Kid

It was a rough afternoon of difficult life lessons for young Thumper today. We went to Jungle Java later than we usually do. School was out, and the joint was chock full of kids. Older kids. He climbed up into the big playscape, but immediately looked like he regretted the decision. One boy sprinted past him, giving him a push that was almost subtle enough to go undetected. Almost.

Thumper lost his balance, jumped up, looked right at the kid, and said, "Soddy! Soddy!" Now, I say "I'm sorry" to the boy if I accidentally bump into him or step on his toes. I make him say "I'm sorry" when he gets a little too rambunctious during play and clubs me in the face with a toy. We say we're sorry. This boy that pushed him down, though, looked right at Thumper and didn't say "sorry." He didn't say anything at all. So Thumper turned, looked at me, and burst into tears.

Back on solid ground, Thumper picked up a toy from the toddler area. Eventually he dropped it in order to concentrate more fully on flirting with a pair of moms. A little girl, about his age, picked it up and brought it over to him. When she held it out, he took it and, filling his daddy with pride, said, "Tank you, baby!" A few minutes later, he carried it back over to her. He held it out. She took it. And she walked away. He turned and looked at me, not bursting into tears this time, but clearly thinking, "Well, why do I have to say it, then?"

Regaining his courage, he climbed back up, once more into the breach, as they say. Jungle Java is big on hanging, padded cylinders. They swing. You run through them like you're running football drills, I guess. Thumper came around a corner just as another boy was using one of the cylinders to pretend he was a champion kick boxer. He smashed the bottom of the cylinder into Thumper's face. Down he went. Up he jumped, yelling, "Soddy! Soddy!" And again, no "sorry" was forthcoming. And again, Thumper burst into tears. It wasn't so much the injury as it was the injustice.

Then, to cap off the afternoon, he spun and spun in circles, got dizzy, fell over, and bashed his cheek into a chair leg. That's going to leave a mark.

And so the lesson of the day was: Mama and Daddy make you say "please" and "thank you" and "I'm sorry." And in return you get squat. Welcome to the real world, little man.

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I was at work at 7:00 a.m. today, and I got home at 11:30 p.m. I was on TV. If you squinted way into the background when the chick was making her attempt at the half-court shot for $17K (which she missed), you may have been able to see me. I ran up and down stairs and hassled children and college students who insisted on standing and/or jumping on flimsy folding chairs during a live TV broadcast that encourages otherwise reasonable folk to stand in the background and scream and generally makes asses of themselves. Then later in the day, I ran up and down stairs, seated people, and enjoyed their enjoyment of a last-minute upset of a despised rival, a rival that, it could be said, stole the national championship out from under them in another sport. It was a pretty good day. I worked and worked, and while I was running from men's room to men's room trying to determine whether the drunk patron who had gone to wash the dried blood off his face had passed out in a puddle of his own, or someone else's, urine, it just struck home with sudden intensity that I really enjoy ushering. It makes me tired, and my legs and feet are sore, but man, if you look at it from the right perspective, it's just a kick.

So I was already in a pretty good mood, but as I drove home listening to Hypersonic Radio, an unidentified song came on and lifted my spirits even higher. With the twin miracles of Google and YouTube, and just because it makes me happy, I give you Daft Punk, remixed by Adam Freeland:

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Yes, Sir!

I've been instructed to write a post. The Man has been remiss in his blogging because he has been busy taking care of a sick Thumper and working on some projects. I've been busy too, though, working hard to bring home the bacon, training a new investigator, taking care of a sick Thumper so the Man can work on projects, and trying to keep an orderly home and squeeze in some taking care of me things so I can continue to do all the other things. I'm doing my part to stimulate the economy by lining the pockets of my dentist and my podiatrist.

The dentist stuff is really quite boring (no pun intended) and the podiatrist stuff probably isn't too interesting either, unless you have some kind of foot fetish. Which, I was wondering aloud last night, is curious. What makes someone decide they want to handle feet all day? Or root around (again, no pun intended) in strangers' mouths every day? But, I digress. Or maybe not. Did I really have a point to start with? I, Rodius asked me to write a post...YOU get what HE asked for.

Oh, the podiatrist. In early April, I am looking forward to not ONE, but TWO foot surgeries. Within a week of each other. Woo hoo! I'll be off work and yet, not off work, for 2 to 3 weeks. Surely, I'll at least get some good Scooby Snacks (pain killers).

And speaking of Scooby Snacks...half of my day today was spent trying to figure out a solution to the following highly regulated problem. Got a guy who is legally getting roughly $8000 worth of medications a month. Three different exceptionally strong opiates (pain killers). And yet, a random urinalysis comes back negative for opiates. Um, yeah...think he might be selling them? But, he has a legal prescription... Cut him of from the meds? Can you smell lawsuit? Prove he's selling them? Yeah, Dateline never airs the unsuccessful attempts, which greatly outweigh the successful results. Media makes it look so easy... in actuality, it's very intensive and frustrating.

So, there you are, I, Rodius. I wrote a post to keep the blog current. Maybe interesting, maybe not. But, done.

Thursday, February 12, 2009


Hey, why didn't you guys clue me in to this lapsit thing? I saw Lapsit Storytime on the public library's events calendar before, but I erroneously assumed that lapsit storytime meant Thumper sitting on a lap and paying attention while a library volunteer read a story. So I never tried it figuring Thumper wasn't anywhere near ready to sit still.

Turns out it ain't just storytime! The storytime was 2 or 3 minutes on a 10-page board book, while the rest of the time was spent doing sing-alongs and clap-alongs and a free-for-all toy time. He had a blast! It took him awhile to warm up, because we've never participated in structured social activities before, but once he got the hang of it, he was all for it. I wish we'd tried a long time ago. When he was around nine months, we considered Little Gym or Gymboree, but rejected it because of the cost. This would have been the perfect alternative. Oh well.

I wasn't expecting it to be such a big production, either. I pictured 4 or 5 parents with kids on their laps sedately listening to a too-long children's book. There were 15-to-20 moms there, though, some with a couple of kids. And most of them were younger than Thumper. I was the only adult male in the room, which made me feel a little awkward, especially when a couple moms started breast feeding. I don't mind if they do it, but I always think they mind my presence in their safe mom zone. Of course, now my antisocial brain is also telling me that Thumper's pushing the upper age limit there, whatever that may be, since most were crawlers. He's the right age for Toddler Puppet Show, but he wasn't ready to sit through that yet. Maybe he would have been if he hadn't already participated in lapsit. I think both on the same day was a little much. Maybe when they kick him out of lapsit for being too old, we'll switch to puppet show.

Hooray structured social activity!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Lookin' Good

One nap per day has given us much more flexibility in our morning routine lately. Today we gave blood and then went to an actual Austin Stay-at-Home Dads playdate. The group seems to be in a transitional period now since the kids of many of the original founders are school aged. There's been calls for new leadership to step up and take the reins. I ain't inclined to be the dude, though. But it was nice to talk with someone other than Thumper for a change.

So far today, three different people have all said, "Ah, eighteen months," in nearly identically wistful tones after I answered the question, "How old is he?" One was the phlebotomist, and two were the dads. They each described this age as "wonderful," "magical," and "the age that's so perfect you start thinking about having another one." Apparently, by 2 1/2, eighteen months is just the fading memory of a pleasant dream.

I've also heard four or five times today, "Wow, he talks a lot!"

It makes me think about what Aerie wrote the other day. In addition to the concerns about her health through another pregnancy, and our ability, or lack thereof, to afford a second child, I think we both share the feeling that we've won the lottery with Thumper. Once we were through those first 3 or 4 months, very little has gone wrong. He's healthy. He's smart. He's beautiful. He's funny and charming. He sleeps well. He eats well. He's active and inquisitive. There's just no way we could possibly win the lottery twice in a row. Is there?

Places to Go

Monday, February 9, 2009


I just don't think I can gamble on this. Before we got married, I told I, Rodius we were NOT going to talk about having children for at least 5 years. And we didn't. Then five + more years passed (with some discussion) before we decided to see what our combined DNA would produce. And he's just amazing. Perfect. Okay, so the doctor today says tight Achilles tendons may be the reason he walks on his toes half the time and he may need PT, but he's still just utterly mind-blowing.

Last week sometime, Thumper wanted Mama to wear his bike helmet. He likes to get others to put things on their heads. Almost anything can be a HAT. The helmet has straps with buckles and Thumper is very aware of the importance of BUCKOS (seat belt, high chair belt, etc.), though his PENGOS (fingers in this case, but also penguins) struggle to make the buckles work. So, we were practicing. I'd encourage the boy to keep trying, telling him he almost had it while trying hard not to help him too much. Yay! Good job! when he lined the two pieces up. And we'd start all over again. ALMOST, ALMOST, he'd say, squinting and focusing on getting those two floppy pieces to fit together.

Saturday, I made some vegetable rice. Rice is on Thumper's Top 10 List Of Things I Won't Refuse For Lunch. But, it's a really messy food to hand to an 18 month old. Regardless, rather than taking the clean route and feeding it to him, I put it in a bowl and handed the boy a spoon. He took the spoon and began chasing the rice around the bowl, telling himself ALMOST, ALMOST until he got a few grains onto the spoon and into his mouth. How the @#$%^ does he do that? How does he make these connections so quickly? Maybe this is old hat to you Two-And-Three-Or-More-Kid parents, but I'm just blown away. He gets the concept of almost....

Back on to that schedule of acceptable conversations, though. I, Rodius and I decided not to discuss a second mini-me until the first was at least a year or so old. Biological clock ticking and all that crap, the longer we wait, the more chance of complications or issues. My 36 year old ovaries aren't getting any younger. But I, Rodius had the boy saying SISTER to me tonight...

Life is ALMOST perfect. I shouldn't gamble. I'm really not that lucky and history dictates that the proud often fall. I'm shamelessly proud of our perfect little boy and terrified of losing that. I don't deserve what I have now....what happens if I ask for more?

Saturday, February 7, 2009


We tried to save a few bucks and cut his hair ourselves, but it became clear that we were creating a disaster. So we decided to break out the clippers. And while I can't stop smiling whenever I look at him (because he's got a haircut just like his Daddy's now), I think his Mama died a little bit inside.

At Least as Smart as a Chimpanzee Now

Friday, February 6, 2009

High Anxiety

I guess YouTube is not a foolproof method of finding any and every little bit of video you can ever think of, after all. I wanted just a short video of Mel Brooks falling over a spinning optical illusion, and I couldn't find it. Oh well.

Not that I've been suffering from vertigo, or been harassed by incontinent birds. But I've felt a bit anxious this week. And the anxiety is twofold: lawyers, guns, and money. No wait, that would be threefold. And there haven't actually been any problems with lawyers or guns. Naps and money. That's it. Naps and money.


It turns out I'm rigid and prefer predictability. For many, many months now, Thumper's been on a set nap schedule: 10-12, and 4-6. Every day. Like clockwork. I stuck to it; he stuck to it. Everyone was happy. But I always felt this nagging sensation that kids his age don't still nap twice a day. I mean, do they? I don't know. The Austin Stay-at-Home Dads have 10am playdates every weekday; if that's the case, how could their kids possibly nap twice a day? They can't, that's how.

Consequently, I always watched carefully for signs that he was ready to give up that morning nap. Recently, I thought (again) that maybe he was ready. He was taking longer to fall asleep, during both his naps and after evening bedtime. And since Meals on Wheels screws up that nap schedule on Tuesdays, I thought now was the time. So this week, we experimented. 11:30, 11. Today 1:45. He's fine, but the not knowing is giving me strange sensations in my chest. Will he go to bed earlier in the evening? Will he wake up earlier in the morning? Will he totally lose his shit if we go to lunch with Uggy Buggy? At every turn, he's been fine, or pretty close to it, but me, I'm a nervous wreck.


And after the middle of March, when basketball season is over, the ushering shifts pretty much dry up. And it's only going to get worse over the summer. And the company that was giving me copywriting work is "re-organizing" and won't have much or any work for me for months. Aerie read the emails I received and said it didn't sound so much like a brush-off to her, so maybe I'm just paranoid. Maybe they really will come back to me in a few months. Either way, that's still a few months. And there's not much database work for me. And babysitting was my biggest money maker, and I walked away from it. On purpose. And yeah, money's kind of tight. And I'm out there trying to solicit some work, but I have a fundamental lack of confidence in my ability to convince anyone to pay me money because I have no specific education or training I can point to that says I'm qualified. And... Well... And... I don't know. I lost my train of thought. What was I talking about again?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

That'll Work

That was a lot easier and less awkward than I thought it would be. I've delivered pizza through a couple of different periods in my life, and this wasn't so different, excepting the 32-or-so pounds of toddler.

The Volunteer Coordinator told me it would be 10am-11am, so we got there about 15 minutes early, anticipating that the Director would want to go over my paperwork or give me some training. Training took about 45 seconds, and meals weren't ready until 10:20, so we had quite a bit of time to kill. A Senior Center shares the space, so Thumper watched the ladies playing dominoes and did his best to lose all the balls out of the bingo tumbler. He also did his best to get the glitter paint out of the tube, but he was thwarted in his designs. I don't think I was keeping tight enough of a leash on him for the taste of one of the ladies, who seemed quite anxious for his safety, but he survived the experience with no (additional) injuries or marks.

Finally we hit the road with a cooler, a warmer, and a 3-ring notebook that had our client list and route maps. It was all very easy. We were done in about 45 minutes, with 8 total clients, only 6 of whom were actually receiving meals today. Everybody got one of each item, so there was no worrying about accidentally giving the wrong meals to the wrong clients, and no one seemed upset about Thumper tagging along. I tried to be friendly and outgoing, but only one client was even remotely interested in chatting, so the social awkwardness was, as it usually is, far less than I anticipated. And Thumper quite enjoyed the several dogs we met, though he didn't have much to say to the people. It takes him a little bit to warm up to folks, and we didn't stay anywhere for very long.

Piece of cake. We can do this. It was a lot of hoisting in and out of the car, but Thumper didn't seem to mind, and it's more exercise for me hauling him around like that. He's usually napping by 10, and we didn't get home until 11:30. He fell asleep in the car after we dropped our stuff off at the Center, and he was pretty cranky about me taking him out of the car and changing his diaper, but he was unconscious again almost immediately. I don't know what this might do to the rest of our day. Maybe I should start keeping him up later every day so by next week he'll be used to it. Or maybe we'll just play it by ear and see what happens.

So, thumbs up! It was easy, didn't take long, and made me feel good. Can't beat that!
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