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May 3, 2011

“Daddy, I have to move my body.”
– Lily, during car ride when we were listening to some exciting music

—-

You may or not recall or have read about it either here or on the major news networks, but I had my bag stolen off the MSP airport ramp a couple weeks ago.  Bummer.  Having stuff stolen is lame and feels icky and intrusive.  Even weirder, though?  Flipping through the photos you took that day and realizing you caught the guy IN THE VERY ACT OF STEALING YOUR BAG!

(you will have to click on this to full size, then look in the bottom right.  You can clearly see a guy with a blue latex glove reaching down for my bag, the brown thing in the photo.)

(this, believe it or not, narrows the culprit down to an aircraft groomer.  nobody else uses latex gloves; plus, I think he brought down all the trash behind him)

I feel so violated.

—-

I don’t have a review of this book.  But I would very much like to. Credit to my boss Andy for telling me such a book existed.

Go the F**k to Sleep

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I think I won

May 3, 2011
The unmistakably luxurious life of a 3 year old slacker.

Moments after this photo…:

 

Me: “Lily, time for dinner.”
Lily: “No, Dad, I don’t want dinner.  I want to stay on my computer.”
Me: “Lily, I’m serious, come to the table.”
Lily: “I’m not hungry.”
Me: “Then come to the table and regale us with a spellbinding narrative of your daily tribulations.”
Lily: “…”
I sit down next to her.
Lily: “Daaaaaaa—aaaaaahhhhd, I’m not hungry.”

I give her a concise and amazingly patient treatise on the importance family dinner plays on the integrity of the fabric of humanity.

Lily: “But I want to play with my computer.”

I shelf the treatise and tell her she can either come join us for dinner or serve the duration of it in a timeout.

Lily: “Oooohhkaay!!”

She runs to her seat, happily.

Someone (smarter than me), please for the love of god tell me if this is a victory or not.

—-

The other night, I was giving Abby a bath.  It was just me, so I’m chasing Lily around the house while keeping an ear out to make sure the blondie is okay.  Suddenly, it’s eerily quiet for a few seconds.  I poke my head towards the stairs and yell up. 

Me: “Abby, are you alive?”
Abby: “Uhh……[splash]………….uh….NO!”

funny kid.

—-

Dangers of Writing!:: 

Here’s a sign that the Gods of Writing may not be shining down upon you: you’re struggling for a lot of words, then just one specific word, then you snap your eyes shut in frustration and give up and admit you need help.  You go to Google.  You try to search for ‘thesaurus’, but it takes you almost 2 minutes to come up with the word ‘thesaurus’.  (maybe they should make another word for thesaurus, for those of us suffering from severe brain shortages)

Dave’s Tip (that’s relevant to the problem above)!::

 

“Just give it up and go watch old episodes of ‘M*A*S*H’ until you fall asleep.”

The Wonder Years

May 2, 2011

You may be wondering what it feels like when your kid is upset and crying because her mom just left the room, and you assure her, “But Daddy’s right here!” and she says, “No, I want MOMMY!”

You may even wonder what it would be like if you were to then go down the floor, right on the kid’s level, on your tummy, and brush the hair tenderly from her face and say – in a calm and soothing voice while she stiffles back the tears –  “But little buddy, Daddy’s here and Daddy loves you very much.”

And you mean it very much.

And since you’ve wondered this much, you may as well wonder what it would be like when she hits you in the face, smacks you hard and it hurts your nose because she really connected on the glasses you’re wearing.

You get that face.  The hurt face, the sad face.

She looks at you.  She gets it.  She understands.

She balls up her hand…

…and she punches you in the face

…and she reminds you, shriekingly, that she wants Mommy.

You wonder what it feels like?

You really, really don’t.

—-

We like to do this game in the kitchen, called Funny Walks, where we take turns walking back and forth across the (whorehouse red) linoleum, doing funny walks. The girls made it up.

The View

May 1, 2011

Dear England: I've located your saddest resident. Please come pick him up. Bring a Whopper.

Parents will often say that having kids allows them to see the world through a child’s filter, like you’re witnessing everything for the first time again through their eyes. 

This is garbage.  My kids are lunatics, and I have no idea what they’re thinking and can’t even remotely relate to their world view, because everything they see has a tiara on it and dances and sings and is married to a prince.  Or it’s a fairy. Or it’s Elmo.  Or it’s some absurdist hybrid of all of those, a 39 foot tall amalgam of every Disney character, with all four Wiggles as the arms and legs, stomping around the city, crushing cars, terrorizing the populace, and garbling up happy meals.

The other day I took the girls for a walk.  Lily found a pine cone, picked it up and said, “An acorn!”  See, how can I benefit from trying to see things through their point of view?  They’re constantly getting shit wrong!  So I slapped it out of her hand and gave her a time out for not knowing what it was.

(or, if you don’t want to believe that, I corrected her politely about a 1,000 times.  It never stuck.  When we got home, she still had it, and it was STILL an acorn)

(funny, because we see pine cones almost non-stop during our walks, and acorns are severely rare…I don’t recall even telling them what an acorn is.  Maybe I never did, since they think it’s a pine cone…)

But I can’t deny that having twins is like having two extra sets of eyes to see things.  On that same walk, we were one block over from our house when Abby said, “Hey, it’s our house!”  I followed her gaze, and thanks to a unique angle through a couple yards and past the alley – and thanks to the fact that we’re almost into summer and the trees have no buds yet – we could see the telltale firebrick red of our cozy little dwelling.  It was fun because it was a strange little view of our house that I’d never seen before, and I was surprised at how clear a view people had of our yard from a block over.

In any other blog, this is an unremarkable event on a microscopically inconsequential scale.  But I like those sorts of things.  And I never would have noticed it, but Abby was paying attention.

—-

Yesterday we were frollicking in the yard with neighbor Rebecca and neighbor-kid Ruby.  Ending the encounter turned into anarchy, which is pretty much standard operating procedures with 3 year olds, but we got both the kids back in the house.  Jen called out to me:

“Hey, did you get the dog dinner?”

I yelled back in the affirmative.  Five minutes later Lily started having a tantrum by the porch door for some unimportant reason (1 of 87 daily tantrum reasons) so I went to talk to her.  We chatted, she calmed down, we’re hugging and about to head inside, when she says, “Olly!!  Hee hee!  He’s funny.”

I looked outside – Olly was clear across the street, dopey ears hanging low while he loped around the yard in front of the church, putzing around, seemingly oblivious to his 10 minutes of freedom and the fact that he could have been halfway to Owatonna if he’d had a mind to be.

Without Lily, I probably wouldn’t have noticed him at all.

(Jen had actually asked me: “Did you bring Olly inside?”  Unfortunately, my kids don’t hear for me, too)

—-

“Ha ha!  I’m umpside down!”

Abby, in the kitchen, looking at the cabinet pulls, which are silvery and reflective and concave, so they make you look inverted.  Another stupid little thing that only an observant child would notice.

—-

(speaking of upside down. In the car the other day, listening to “The Cave” from Mumford and Sons (a first-rate tune), and they come to the part …

 “…so come out of your cave walking on your hands/
and see the world hanging upside down…”

and Lily just loses it, laughing, out of her gourd. “..ha ha ha! Tee hee!!!….upside down. That’s silly, Daddy.”

I had no idea she was even listening to the song…)

—-

Lily, super proud of the flowers that I planted and I grew and she snapped off.

Old friends

April 30, 2011

 

Old friends, old friends,
Sat on their parkbench like bookends
A newspaper blown through the grass
Falls on the round toes
of the high shoes of the old friends

Old friends, winter companions, the old men
Lost in their overcoats, waiting for the sunset
The sounds of the city sifting through trees
Settle like dust on the shoulders of the old friends

Can you imagine us years from today,
Sharing a parkbench quietly
How terribly strange to be seventy

Old friends, memory brushes the same years,
Silently sharing the same fears

—–

Babysitting credit to Bronia, the girl next door.
Photo credit to Kari, and lots of love for sending it tonight.
Big love to all my old friends, who have friends and families and kids and so our paths don’t cross so much as they used to, but who get together like not a day has gone by.
(Carrie and the rest of you who couldn’t make it, you were missed)

Tips for a happy marriage – free, modest tips from the best father.husband ever.

April 29, 2011

The Wall Street Journal had the audacity today to publish a piece in their Life & Style section that made this outlandish claim: children are hard on a marriage.

I find this audacious because, in my experience, the opposite seems to be the case.  All the bad parts of parenting have steeled the resolve between Jen and I, all the good parts let me see a side of her that I never knew existed, and the mediocre parts are just plain pleasant without being offensive, and if we’re lucky enough we get to occasionally sneak off into the bedroom (after the girls’ bedtime, of course, and past piles of dirty laundry and unpaid bills and stacks of to-do lists).

We used to spend crazy amounts of time together.  Now we go on a date roughly once every political election cycle (and that’s usually what we talk about on our date…we so love politics!), and therefore the appreciation factor has become ramped up.  Pre-kids, if Jen and I were out, I’d be 97% into whatever we were talking about, and 3% into anything else that might have been happening in the room.  That’s because that’s how my mind works, and 97% is a respectable number, and she should be super-proud of that.

(Right now, for instance, I’m 72% into this blog, 14% into The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, 10% into thinking about why some flowers smell like hot dogs, and 4% of my brain is constantly running “Beauty and the Beast” on a continuous loop.)

Post-kids, I’m 100% invested into my wife, because the next time we hold a meaningful conversation could be in 2027 (when President Trump will be in his 4th term and we’ll all be riding hovercars powered by his flaxen hair). 

Here is Donald Trump with his newborn child, and wife Melania Knauss-Trump.

Enjoy a life spent searching for normalcy, kid.

 Here’s one of the points the article made about how kids are poison for your marriage:

“A key source of conflict among new parents is dividing up—and keeping score of—who does what for the baby and the household.”

Source of conflict??  No.  No, not if you need to be all negative and Debbie Downer about it.  My advice is to make it a big competition.  I’m always pointing out to Jen how far ahead I am in the points, explaining how I do so much more than she does, and she laughs and laughs….I’m assuming because she knows how true it is.

In honesty, I shouldn’t keep score, of course, but I do.  But there’s a major flaw in my score-keeping: anytime I log an “event” with the kids, it’s almost universally because Jen is doing something work-related.  So the impulsive, self-serving part of my brain chalks one up for me – it’s impossible not to, if I’ve had to deal with the kids by myself for a few hours without help – but the rest of my brain knows it doesn’t really count because it’s not like Jen is spending a day at the spa.  The opposite is true of for the opposite situation.  If Jen’s watching the kids, it’s because I’m doing something absurdly stupid, like out banging on a drum set or biking my way around the seedier parts of town.  So I keep score.  But I also keep it to myself.  (hint: I’m always winning.  you can’t help but remember more about the hardships you put up with.  it’s human nature, I think)

Another issue I have with that quote above: it says ‘baby’, as in the singular tense, which is odd because if there’s anything we’ve learned from this blog, it’s that parenting single kids is laughably easy.

—-

Lily took all her clothes off tonight, after bedtime but before she’d succumbed to sleep.  This is unusual because it’s the sort of thing Abby usually does, not her, and because she managed to pee all over her bed in the process.

Naked girl, heart blanket, lots of urine

Hey, jealousy

April 28, 2011

The Gods of Corporate Perks smiled upon Jen a few days ago with a ticket to the Twins game tonight.

I experienced a brief and minor stab of jealousy at the thought of Jen eating a hot dog drowning in condiments, drinking a beer, and being at an outside ball game while I stayed home to try on princess dresses and do puzzles.

Funny how 40 degrees, snow, and an abyssmal home team takes the edge off envy.

Add to that the pure joy of watching Lily watch the last few minutes of “Tangled” tips the scales into making me think I might have gotten the better deal. But I’m still wicked hungry for a good hot dog.

Random, old picture of the monkey.