3:14 p.m. - October 03, 2005
(And also, since I don’t play any instruments, sing like a rusty gate, and have short hair and a generally geeky feel, I’m not much in the rock-and-roll icon, either. But I look better than most of the guys from Poison, Ratt or Quiet Riot do now – though that’s not too tough of a hurdle to cross.)
The weekends around la casa de Smed, when there’s no Wabash game or event I have to attend are relatively lazy, hazy, and crazy – sometimes all at once. This weekend? No exception.
This one started slowly, and it was my own doing. I covered a high school game on Friday night, and after I was done writing the story I just didn’t feel like trundling off to bed. So I stayed up, drank some wine, read a bunch of things, did some searches, bought some tunes online and before I knew it the clock read 1:30.
Oops! The Katie alarm was going to go off at 7:00 for sure. And I just prayed that Kristin was not going to use that night as one of the nights where she backslides. On top of that, the yard needed cutting (otherwise I’d have to rent a herd o’ goats) and I needed to do that as early as possible so Liz could get going to Indianapolis.
Sure enough, I awaken from a deep slumber to these sounds:
“Creak, slam, clomp, clomp, clomp, meow, meow, clomp, clomp, clomp…”
“I need someone to get up with me. It’s morning time.”
Cripes, and I guess that someone is me. However, I did feel rock-and-roll. Actually, I felt like a rock-and-roller who went to bed at 1:30 and had to wake up at 7. Everyone feels the same way – like your head is on sideways.
But, I endeavored to persevere.
Before mowing the lawn I wanted to have a big breakfast, but I knew it was much too early for Liz to wake up (when she doesn’t HAVE to get up, Liz can be quite the sloth. Except she’s got more than three toes and she’s MUCH better looking) so I had to time breakfast so I know she’d be awake, but also so that Kristin would be content and happy so that I could cook breakfast with no issue.
So, I go out and get the newspapers and start the coffee. I start a Sesame Street on the TiVo for Katie to watch, then I read the paper and wait for Kristin to wake up.
I love it when a plan comes together! Kristin stirs around 8, and I go upstairs, change her and bring her downstairs. She’s usually not hungry to start with – but I make a bottle just in case. I plop her in the bouncy seat, start a Dora for Katie (after talking about the Sesame Street) and then make breakfast. It’s pretty much like the Iron Chef breakfast, except no French toast this time, and no muffins. But plenty o’ hash browns, bacon and eggs. Oh, and I had to use mozzarella in the eggs, not parmesan. We’ve gone on a chicken parm kick lately.
Breakfast is almost done, and Liz is summoned to the table. The eggs, bacon, and potatoes are almost perfect (a lot of the potatoes stuck to the pan this time) and things are off to a good start. I go upstairs to put on some socks, because it’s lawn mowing time.
When I mow, I have my iPod on pretty loud, so I am jamming to the tunes as I slog through the grass. Normally, it’s only 45 minutes, but since the grass was still a bit wet, and high (and I couldn’t wait as this was the only chance I had) it took about an hour. But that time gave me a great inspiration for a future essay. However, my throat was a bit sore from singing along while I was mowing. Sigh.
After mowing, I go in to shower up, and get ready to be Dad for the afternoon. Liz takes off for Indianapolis and there I am – entrusted with Katie and Kristin on a Saturday afternoon.
Of course, that means that I get to teach them all about college football. Well, as much as they can absorb. Kristin, actually, will just stare for a while, so hopefully she’s soaking some of this in.
Before the football, though, it’s time for Katie’s lunch. The big question is how she wants her turkey sandwich cut: squares, rectangles, or triangles. She’s been on a two rectangle kick for a while, and she goes that way again. She’s getting predictable, at times. It’s better, I guess, that she doesn’t know the obscure shapes yet. Because while I bet I can cut a sandwhich into trapezoids or rhombi, I don’t know if I’ve mastered the dodecahedron cut, yet.
She’s also getting knowledgeable about where food comes from. Her carrots came from the ground, she said. And the other night, as she was eating sweet-and-sour chicken, she said “this chicken came from a chicken.”
I could not make that up.
Now actually, the best part of the lunch, the nap of Katie. She’s not allowed out of her room until 2, but normally it’s just quiet time. So Katie goes up to her room (in fact she tells me to go back downstairs when I’m only halfway up, because she’s a big girl) and Kristin and I set about watching football.
And thanks to DirecTV, there’s about four or five games I’m flipping around on. Kristin, though, is keeping me hopping. She’s not only a drool bucket, she’s a squirmy drool bucket who is almost too big for her bassinettes. I am watching TV, and have an ear on the Wabash game as well. At halftime of that game, I pop my iPod back on to test out a playlist for some CDs and Kristin decides she needs changed. (Well, I don’t think it was totally an option).
So I bop upstairs with her, looking her in the eyes while singing “Too Young To Fall in Love” by Motley Crue, which has a good rhythm to bop a baby to believe it, or not. She was smiling and grinning from ear to ear (well, and slobbering, but hey), and quite happy when she was all clean and tidy.
I poked my head into Katie’s room, and she was asleep! Will wonders never cease!
But at 2:03 (she was a bit late today) she came downstairs. Kristin was sacked out, and I had a typical rock star pose (semi-asleep on the couch) – so Katie, instead of yelping loudly, decided to quietly play with her magna-doodle. Of course, every five minutes she wanted me to see what she drew, but it beats the alternative.
But during the afternoon, drawings are made and judged, books are read, music is listened to, babies are changed, football is watched, and even Maisy makes an appearance on the TV. (I needed to do the dishes, and it’s much easier without an apprentice.) So, when Liz got home, both girls were happy, Dad was happy, the house was semi-clean and we were all ready for the KFC that Liz brought home. (Nothing says I love you guys like greasy chicken and mashed potatoes! Seriously!)
Sunday was a much easier day. We went to church, and then it was time for the NFL. Of course, I had to do my laundry during the games as well. (NOTE: Yes, I said I had to do my laundry. Me, myself, and I doing MY laundry. See, we’re trainable!)
When Katie came back down after her nap, she said it was her turn. Of course, the first NFL games were going on, and Liz told her, “Remember this is Sunday, and Daddy has a long, long turn. He’ll give you a turn soon.” So Katie went to work on some puzzles.
I certainly did give her a turn right after the first games were done!
So I was rather much the football slug on Sunday (but surprisingly drank no beer while watching football. I’m either getting soft, or lazy, or both), but after a while Liz needed to go make some dinner. It was time for sweet and sour chicken and she was going to make some for freezing. Katie loves to help Liz do this (well, actually, Katie loves to play in the flour more than anything.)
I had made a playlist in preparation for a future essay (coming soon this week – it’s worth the suspense!) and when I was holding Kristin I poked in to see how it was going. I was singing “Girl Don’t Tell Me” (and that’s the only hint you’ll get about the upcoming essay, so Google away). Katie was laughing at me, Liz was bemused, and Kristin was just beaming (and slobbering the good slobber of contentment). I decided that that playlist would be an excellent soundtrack to the culinary shenanigans going on in the kitchen. Besides, you can watch football with the sound off.
So I put the FM transmitter into the iPod and cranked up the tunes. Everyone was bopping, or singing, to the tunes. Rock and roll Dad, he rules!
While Katie was upstairs soaking in the tub, removing all of the flour that seemed to invade her every pore, I was thinking to myself on how easy this Dad thing really is, if you take the time and care. Sure, there’s going to be struggles, but dang, how hard is it, really to include your kids and make sure they’re having fun with you.
Besides, you can act like a total goof to the kids (well, at this age) and they’ll just smile at you. I’m sure in 10 years I’ll get groans of derision as I crank out the air guitar, or try to emulate the sweet tones of Lemmy from Motorhead, but hey, they’re stuck with me!