Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

the true joys of being a parent (STAR WARS).

one of the many pre-birth-of-our-child talks that mommy and i had was concerning Star Wars, and what age would be appropriate to introduce it into our daughter's life.

NOW! i said.

she's not even born, mommy said.

i'm pretty sure we have the technology to get it pumped in there (motioning vaguely to mommy's mid-section).

you want to show it to my gall bladder? she asked. i motioned lower.

SWEDEN! i said.

hunney, i'm pretty certain Sweden has seen Star Wars by now.

no, i said. we may have to go to Sweden. i'm sure they possess the technology we'll need.

mommy felt that bebe should be 14 or something dumb like that. okay, maybe it was somewhere closer to six or seven... i forget where we compromised. her argument was that same-old stuffy one of violence and flashing lights and and tender brain cells and blah blah blah (i was playing a really violent kick-assy game on the playstation when we had this fight, er, discussion, so i really don't remember most of what she said). my argument was that i had seen it, multiple times in the theatres, when i was only four/five. sure, a lot of it went over my head, but i got the important stuff: space, heros, darth vader, lasers, intergalactic dictatorships, the force, triumphant music... it even had stuff to read at the beginning. last time i checked, reading was a good thing, mommy.

anyway, i got what i got, and i missed what i missed, and filled it all in during the 300 or 500 times more that i saw it by the time i was something close to an adult. by then, the tapestry was rich and lush, and i didn't even think the kissy parts were gross anymore.


young me: dad? why does han solo want to kiss princess leia?

younger dad: well, he has nice feelings for her, and he wants to show her that he cares for her.

INTERJECTION- my parents were INCREDIBLY supportive of my star wars lust. they even set up the toys i got for x-mas in accurate scene reproductions from the movies. i mean, SANTA set them up that way. - END INTERJECTION

young me: couldn't he hit her with a lightsaber, instead?

younger dad: no. that would hurt her.

young me: they sound cool when you swing them around.

younger dad: also, han solo isn't a jedi. he doesn't carry a lightsaber.

young me: thanks, dad.


well, well, well, ladies and germs, this past weekend we went to dinner at our friends rodd and karen's house. they have two young boys, ages 8 and almost five, and as is usually the case when i am around young boys, the conversation quickly turned to talk of Star Wars: favorite characters, parts, which movie was the best/worst, etc. and you know where that gets you- all giddy and sweaty palmed and looking for the remote so you can fire up the dvd player you keep separate and always loaded with the Star Wars. the boys were feeling Jedi that night, so after a few button hits and sound adjustments, as we like to say here in the boston sports media- BAM! laser show. for real.

i know, i know. some of you out there will think "Jedi" and judge me. it was not my choice to start with Jedi. i had many a grand fantasy of properly introducing each film, perhaps even going so far as to make her wait the same three years between each, to replicate the three or so that i had to wait. and i would of course start with the original trilogy and screen them in order of initial release. but if the compromise i have to make in shaving off nearly four years is starting with the "last" movie, then fine. it's a perfectly acceptable place to introduce a small child and hold them, wriggling in it's jaws. it's got the ewoks, some funny bits, tons of action, lots of cool scenery, etc. and if this is how she gets into the story, there's no way she could be disappointed when she asks, "so daddy, what's the deal with the FIRST Death Star?"

lady, would you like to know what the freaking deal with the first death star is? BAM! A New Hope. perfect. and then for all of the bad dialog and unintentional campiness of that one, along comes Empire to save the series. Perfect! and at least i didn't start with "Attack of the Clones" for crying out loud. even the little boys we watched Jedi with liked that one the least.

bebe, like lots of little kids, really loves being around bigger kids. she spends a lot of time watching them, studying them, taking them apart and putting them back together, making them talk in foreign languages and wear silly outfits and go down waterslides in tuxedos and tu-tus and riding horses backwards into pools filled with pudding and... okay, i'll admit i don't really know what she's thinking about while she watches them. but she watches them. hard.

so, in the end, i think she spent more time watching the boys watch Star Wars than actually watching it herself, although today, apropos of nothing, mommy heard her muttering "arrr tooo deeeee too. arrr tooo deeeee too." the only characters she knew of prior to this screening were yoda and "Derf... Nader!"

brings a tear to my eye. my little girl is all growed up. seriously, what's left?

the seed has been planted... may the force be with you.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

stuff is still almost just happening!

sunday was conventionally a better weather day than saturday. it was sunny and warm, and when those two dudes get together, it usually spells playground. hanging out at the playground is probably my least favorite way to spend time with bebe, for a couple different reasons. would you like to know what they are? sweet, because imma tell you.

first of all, bebe spends a lot of time at various playgrounds with her auntie, her mommy, and morrie and his mommy. part of my parenting outlook or strategy is to keep exposing her to new experiences. i feel like it's a big world and you should try and take in as much of it as you can. i'd like to be the kind of parent that offers life experience in the same way we try to offer her her food: put a bunch of things on a plate and let her choose which ones to try.

most playgrounds in the city, because they're in an urban area, are fenced in. this makes a ton of sense. what it also does is turn these places into lawless hell holes where parents dump their kids to run rough-shod over everyone else while they stand around looking totally disinterested, or talking about stupid shit with other parents who are also not watching their kids.

call me old fashioned, but when i go to the playground with my little girl, it's to play. i take it very seriously. i check my competitive nature at the door (or gate, as it were) so i'm not the thirty-something dude pushing little kids out of the way to get to the monkey-bars or racing three year olds down the slide. but i do treat the modern urban playground a bit like an obstacle course and i act accordingly. but how high i swing is not the point here.

i play. with bebe. the last thing i want to do, under any circumstances, is stand around talking to other parents about this and that, play groups, product recalls, how i never get any sleep, all the movies i've missed, the latest funny little thing my kid has done, or for crap's sake what it is i do for a living. you want to see infinity? picture this, and assume i am forced to participate and engage: there are two doors. one goes to a playground filled only with parents standing around talking their inane talk. the other goes to a mixer for the nazi party. i could stand at that crossroads FOREVER.

besides the fact that all that talk just makes me tired, what the hell is your kid doing while you chat/flirt with the other parents? oh, that's right. the other semi-annoying thing is that for many of these other parents (who tend to mostly be women), the play ground represents their only outlet to the outside world. one where you used to get all pretty and dressed up and go out with the "girls" and flirt with that cute guy because it's fun and makes you feel like you're still young and whatever blah blah blah. so if you were that girl who had to have every guy's attention and be the life of the party, you're still that girl. only now, you're some body's mom and while you're dressed in your too-tight for recreation of any kind clothes and chatting up joe dad while he pushes his kid on the swing, your kid is eating rocks or peeing down the slide or shoving some other littler kid (who is also not being watched by his/her parents) into the dirt or off of a bench or whatever.

at the playground the other day i saw a little girl who was maybe two-and-a-half climb up onto a stone wall/bench, then roll herself accidentally off onto her head. i flinched because her mom was sitting on a bench on the exact opposite side of the playground talking animatedly about how hard it is to keep an eye on her daughter (no lie). by the time i got close, the little girl and risen to her feet, wailing. she looked around brushing tears from her cheeks, noticing that no one was paying any attention to her. after a second of looking around, and a second more of still no one giving a crap, she shrugged and ran off to play some more. i guess she's just used to it.

i get that it's hard to get a break, and it's tough when your social life goes away and gets replaced by stinky diapers and lack of sleep and there's no stimulating conversation. and for me it's an easier thing to accept because i'm not very social by nature and do surprisingly well with a busted sleep schedule. i try not to be harsh when it comes to judging other parents, but the playground is not a television set. this is true, it's a scientific fact. google it.

what i mean is that the playground is used in the same way that the television is used to distract kids so parents can get a break. and just because one involves the outdoors and some exercise (i'll let you guess which one) doesn't mean you get to stop being parental.

i hate an environment where, because you're not doing what you're supposed to be doing, i have to do your job for you, because if i don't it directly impacts the quality of the experience that my child will have. if you're not there to tell your kid that he/she needs to wait his/her turn and not just shove other kids (my daughter) out of the way because she's smaller, then i'm going to. if you don't like me scolding your kid or removing them from my child's personal space, then you should put your cellphone down and come deal with it yourself. one of these days i'm going to kick one of these milf-soccer mom used-to-be head cheerleader or what ever's asses, but it thankfully won't be in front of her children because who the hell knows where they are?

who wouldn't want to rock the hell out of playing with this kid? damn. she screeches on the swings, goes up the slide backwards, and jumps around like a maniac. and she still manages to be respectful of other people.

playgrounds suck.

but on the way back, we get to stop for trains:

"i think i hear one!"


"woo woo! ORANGE TRAIN!!!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

you guys! this just happened! almost!

okay, so this is actually from last saturday, but it's the closest i've come in a long time to, well, being timely. so here it is!

bebe has been on a real push-kick these days. normally when we go out for a walk, we'll ask her if she wants to walk, or would like to bring the stroller. it used to be that when she chose "stroller" she would ride for a while, getting out to walk here and there. now when she chooses the stroller, what she really means is that she wants to push the stroller to wherever we're going:

this is what most people see:

i've lost count of how many times i've heard someone say "look! that stroller is pushing itself!"

saturday was grey and rainy, and lots of people stay inside and complain about what a crappy day it is, but not me and beebs. for one thing, the light on days with a little cloud cover is really soft and pretty. for another, because we live close to the water, on rainy days there's just the slightest hint of sea air on the breeze. and lastly, rain = puddles! what better way to spend an afternoon than in your rain boots, traipsing through some puddles!

and there's never a bad day for train spotting.

when you're a parent, part of what drives you crazy on a regular basis is all the miniaturized parts just hanging out around you. look at these teeny hands. they just do stuff, all day long. some of it is the same stuff you do, only smaller. it kills me.

contemplating a blossom filled puddle. should she jump in? should she leave it be?


"the problem is, you never know how deep these things are."

"i really just don't want to have to wash my hair. mommy will definitely make me wash my hair. i guess i'll skip it."

back home, it was grapes and a turkey wrap for lunch.


Tuesday, June 15, 2010

there's a reason this blog isn't updated very often...

and this is it:

in actuality, this is the cause of the "morning" sickness that mommy now has 24/7. so my end of our home life has been a little disheveled, resulting in a near total abandonment of this blog, as well as any others i'm involved in. hopefully our circumstances will change soon and i'll be back to sporadically posting here as if all were right with the world. in the meantime, please enjoy these ultrasound photos of our soon to be newest recruit. the rumors you've heard are true: we're raising an army...

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

living room picnic

wow i'm tired. bebe wakes up at 5am everyday, and that's just the way it is. we've tried to get her to sleep later, but she just won't. staying up till midnight watching basketball and then getting up at five a couple days a week really does a number on you. this morning on my way to work, as i was crossing the street, an alarm went off in my head. and, no lie- this is what it said:

shit! do i have shoes on? did i put shoes on this morning before i left? i was kind of running around, doing a lot of stuff really quickly...

followed by:
should i check? what if i look down and i don't have shoes on? i'm pretty sure i can at least feel socks. i put socks on, i remember that. well, i'm not going to look. if i get to work and i never put shoes on, i've got an extra pair in my desk and i'll just have to wear those. shit. i really want to look because the suspense is killing me and i really can't feel my shoes.

all true. anyway, under normal wednesday circumstances this would be a wordless post, but words have gone so out of style that they're back again, and here we are:

my pops, grandpa steve, for some crazy reason thinks that we're vegetarians in our house. i'm not sure why he thinks that, but to offer more proof to the contrary (mommy posted some pics like these a while ago, when they had just happened, ahem, but i wanted my own turn to be contrary), here some pics of bebe as a meatavore:

we decided one night to have a picnic on our living room floor.

bebe's dinner, as you can see, consisted of some pickles, some sweet-potato fries, standard-potato fries, and a piece of mommy's juicy burger.

the burger was a little tough to navigate, and sometimes she'd hit only bun.

but with a slight readjustment in attitude, she was able to guide the burger smoothly to the chompers.

then she'd pull away to inspect the damage

...before going in once more. a few more chomps,

and it was gone!

for dessert: pickles!

she's thinking about biting my hand.

a little more burger, a lot less bun. isn't that a spinal tap song? no?

this was right around the time she started faking the sour face. in acts of true comedic genius she would pucker on command. she'd later add a little arm wave and shoulder shake to really sell it. as she's fond of saying these days, "tooooo funny!"

ready to show the people what i'm talking about? on the count of three- 1, 2, 3!

(the contrary apple falls not far from the contrary tree. and when it falls, it hits every stubborn branch on the way down.)

let's try again- 1, 2, 3!