First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Kevin and Fat Tony in the basement. (repost)

I am reposting this entry due to the fact that the html on it is screwed up and I am to green at blogging to be avle to figure out how to fix it. Thank you for bearing with me.

Monday, Kevin called in sick. The evening before as he was working he complained of pain in his back due, he in forms me to, "complications from the balance toe on my foot (he indicates the right one) being amputated. I think I need to go to the hospital and get some painkillers kid."


He calls Monday morning and says that he can't make it because, "I cut my thumb pretty bad and I think it's infected so I'm gonna go to the hospital and get some antibiotics."


I said, "Uh'huh, Kevin. Just as long as you finish the basement by wednesday night, do what you need to do."

"No problem kid, blah, blah, blah, kid" basic crazy Kevin meth head* style stream of consciousness I am now learning to tune out "kid."

So he shows up Tuesay with Fat Tony and they get down to work. I go down to the basement to see how things are going and do some laundry.

I ask, "Hey Kevin how's it going?"

He says, "Finishing these windows kid, it's a tough job but you've got the right guy doing it kid."

Me: "You feeling better?"

"Yeah, like I told you I have complications from my balance toe being amputated so I went to the hospital and got some painkillers."

Me: "So you're doing better?"

"Yeah, I'm on two percocets now so . . .I'm feeling better." He says as he leans over the table saw.

"Well be careful." I blurt cheerfullty.

"How'd the toe thing happen?" I did not ask because I did not want to know. I headed for the stairs eyes properly averted. He follows and offers:

"What happened with my toe is my old partner amputated it on purpose out of jealousy."

Of course I have to stop. "Really? Jeez." I offer cheerfully.

Meanwhile Ruby-our large, dumb, very friendly boxer-has followed me downstairs and she's over making fast friends with Fat Tony.

As I again turn to leave, I joke to Fat Tony in Ref to the Toe:
"It wasn't you was it Tony?"

No answer. I wait a beat and ask again (because I'm a moron, apparently) . . .

"You didn't do it did you, Tony?"

Tony answers thusly, "I communicate with the animals. I know what they're saying. I mean I don't know everything they say, but I know what they're saying."

Me:(blinking) . . . "Ok then guys, see you later." I gibber gleefully.
And I make for the stairs. Shaken.

*As far as the meth head comment is concerned, this is pure conjecture. I have no factual evidence of this. It just nicely sums up his demeanor and behavior.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Back from Vacation

Hey Blog.  Got back from vacation late wednesday night.  We were at the above.  

Sebago Lake in Maine. 

Pretty sweet.  My 8 month old boy, the Pumpkin Man, really enjoyed his time in the lake.  Or he hated it.  I'm not entirely sure.  He's 8 months.   What he demonstratively enjoyed was being doted on by the three women (my wife's aunt and 2 cousins) we stayed with.  Chicks dig the Pumpkin Man (his nick name is the Pumpkin Man only because he is round, fat, and orange and at night we scoop out his insides and jam a candle in his face so as to backlight his menacing grin.  Zing.).  Out of the week were on vacation, he must've spent about 16 total waking minutes not in someone's arms.  

And we're talking the arms of a 49 year-old women who never had a boy, a 22 year old kindergarten teacher, and an 18 year-old with a yen for all things cuddly.  Kid had a harem.  

Vacation was amazing.  We were out of the city for a heat wave, the lake was incredible, and my wife and I constantly found ourselves without children.   Instead of immediately running away, which was obviously the wisest course of action, we just kept sitting there and going, "we don't have any children.  Our children are not with us.  You don't have a baby.  I don't have a baby.  Hey honey, where are the kids?  I don't know!"

Very relaxing and wonderful.  The above mentioned women are generous and loving and fun and great and I feel lucky to be a part of their family.  

Getting home was not so amazing.  We came back having to still deal with Kevin and Fat Tony, do some serious yard work (the yard looks like a Vietnamese jungle), an ant invasion, and de-spoiling both babies.   S'good to be home.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

My daughter the Peanut or Skinny Toddlers Suck

We call our daughter the Peanut because she is small. Short and very skinny. Like a pixie or a midget heroin junkie. As my wife says, she's the only two year old you'll meet with a six-pack.

Developmentally she's doing very well cognitively and well enough physically. For a while she was in the tenth percentile for height and third for weight. And although we're talking jockey and Tom Cruise stunt double as future career possibilities we were ok with that. Our doctor told us as long as she stays at those numbers, there is no problem.

So, we fed her very healthy stuff. As my wife's blog (yeah, that's right, one couple, two blogs. Sue us.) will attest to, we started out feeding her all the right stuff. Organic, locally grown, high fiber, blueberry, and brown rice soy balls with an organic cane sugar glaze cooked using renewable wind energy in an oven made out of hemp.

And then the doctor said that she had "fallen off the (weight) chart" and used terms like 'failure to thrive" and "tube feeding." And we were lost.
"This isn't our fault. She's got a fast metabolism. Everything will be fine." we told each other over and over again because the one was sure that the other was always lying.

We didn't discuss this with many of the people around us. Personally, I was a little worried about being judged. In my own defense a lot of these people were not exactly up on the latest in infant nutrition. By way of example, the Peanut has a great aunt who tried to give her both lemon meringue pie and honey when she was 8 months old. So she had to be talked to about what she could and couldn't feed our baby daughter:

"Yes on the dry cheerios, auntie. No on the peanut brittle. "

We found ourselves with precious little in the way of a support system and scared out of our minds.

Then, we had an epiphany. Doughnuts! O Happy Day. Or more specifically, Donuts. The Peanut loves donuts.

From that moment on she has been on a 6 chocolate munchkins a day diet. That, along with recommended supplementary additives to most of her food (read: Butter, cheese, cream, butter flavored cheese with creamed cheese butter and butter. And cheese.) has put on, "as much weight as I could've hoped for," to quote her pediatrician at the last weigh-in. So we will continue.

An added wrinkle is the use of one M&M per bite as a bribe when she is being stubborn about eating. Which happens pretty often because she can feel our tension at meals which to her means power. And absolute power corrupts absolutely. Plus, the Peanut is a little on the bossy side. Sometimes it's like eating diner with Augusto Pinochet.

But, all in all, things are going better. We've relaxed our rules mostly around snack time and at dinner we still try to mostly give her the organic stuff, just soaked with organic butter.

So to those of you who have had the same problem, you can handle it. And for those who like to judge, don't hate. It's unbecoming.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Buddy Rich, Neil Peart, and The Peanut

The Peanut (which is the moniker I have chosen for my two year old daughter) loves to play drums.  And by drums I mean anything that makes a sound when you beat on it.  Drums, chairs, boxes, plastic slides, metal slides, tables, the floor, the cat, her baby brother.  Anything. 

 At first, I was quite pleased, being a former drummer myself who still fools around with a conga drum and a djembe every now and then.  "Look at her, she's a drummer."  I would say and then beam proudly while she thumped out a rhythm less tattoo on my wife's sleeping face.   

And I would nod indulgently when she started reaching the djembe and whaling on it as loudly as her little hands could muster while my 7 month old son (the Pumpkin Man) was trying to sleep.  "Drummers gotta drum," I would shrug in way of explanation as I rocked the exhausted (and unreasonable) infant back to sleep.   

She's been drumming like this now for 4 months or more.  At home and at the supermarket.  When people are asleep or awake.  The nice part is that I get to join in too.  Whether I want to or not.  "Daddy do it.  Daddy do it!"  she shrieks while she pounds out the exact  beats that have been shown to trigger migraines in lab rats.  

I have created a monster.  And not a monster in the music lingo "Questlove is a monster on the drums" sense, which is sort of what I was hoping, but rather a monster in the "oh my god that incessant racket is going to make me scoop out my brain with a shoe horn and feed it to the cat" sense. 

And I can't stop myself from encouraging it.  Even now, the frustrated musician/indulgent daddy in me is willing to put up with it because she might be the next Questlove or Buddy Rich.  Right?  I mean, it's possible.   

So for now, if you happen be in my neighborhood, and you happen to drive by my little pink house, it might be best to roll up your windows and turn on the radio.  And don't worry about the crying man with the bleeding ears. His daughter's is going to be a musician!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Words Of Wisdom

From a day long Kevin rant which was mostly unintelligible until a quiet but dogged response from Fat Tony caused Kevin to let loose with this:

"Oh Yeah?  Well then put your money where your mouth is and SHUT UP!"

P.S.  I will be publishing some actual family related stuff soon, I just needed to get this stuff off my chest first.  Thank you.

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