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6:59 a.m. - March 21, 2006
Guest Entries Part One - The Locked Ones
One of the features here is that people are allowed to write guest entries for others. Some poor souls have taken pity on your truly and allowed me to write some drivel and nonsense on their illustrious sites.

As I am currently conferencing, yet I know that my audience wants and needs some Smed-drivel to tide them over, I have decided to take an easy way out, and link to my various guest entries, with a little intro for each one.

Well, except for two, since the diaries are now locked, and they were the first two guest spots that I did. So, they’re first and go in this entry. The others will go in tomorrow’s essay where I will gush over the people who allowed me to write an essay and embarrass both them and myself. Heh..

The first ever guest entry I did was for Jenn, who is now locked, but her spot is theflyingrat. And no, that’s not a reflection on her, as far as I can tell. Anyway, she’s sweet and is the mother of a cute widdle boy, Riley. On October 30, I got to say “howdy” and here it is:


So I was asked by Jenn to do justice to a guest essay. I was flattered and honored. I made some happy noises inside my head (didn't want to wake up the house) and said yes immediately.

I'm Smed (SmedIndy if you're nasty!) and I'm a married, almost-40 (coming soon in November to an essay near you) father of two girls, Katie and Kristin. Katie is almost four, and Kristin will be five months old soon. (Yes, I am losing my hair. Yes, it has accelerated since 2001. Yes, I believe that by 2018 I will be bald.)

On my essay site, I write about all kinds of things - anything from what being a father is like, to what's going on in my girls life, to odds and ends around the town I live, to really important stuff like what's on my iPod at the moment and my choice of cereal.

If you notice, I tend to ramble on (and sing my song), and I write five or six times a week, usually with one or two obscure pop culture references in each essay. What some may call erudite, others may call plain ol' windy. Your mileage may vary, see you doctor if symptoms persist.

But this is chance at the big time, and I need to put my best foot forward. And this is an important one because I need to write a great one here AND follow that with a great one at my own site so when people click over there I'm not embarrassing myself with banal, trite half-formed dribblings. They have to be exciting and new half-formed dribblings.
So instead of doing a six-part breakdown of the Squeeze song "Heaven" (alas, the exposition of the term check-drying cloth and the phrase 'she'll bend over backwards even though she’s knackered' will have to wait another day), I need to discuss with you all something of great importance.


Kristin is almost five months old. All you parents in the room, you know that five month old babies drool.

Of course, that's caused by teething. And she's in full bore teething mode. That means that she's fussy a lot more often than normal, and she's harder to calm done once she’s fussy.

Last week, Liz had a meeting in the evening and I was being the good dad. I was holding Kristin and being the hall monitor while Katie takes her bath. However, on her way out of the tub Katie noticed she had a little red scrape on her calf. She wanted a band-aid.

Kristin was sacked out in my arms, and the band aids are downstairs. The spot was not bleeding and was barely a red spot - so I said no.

The Katie alarm went off.

"Waaaaaaaaah! Mommy said I need a band aid when I get a boo-boo and this is a boo-boo and it's red and it might bleeeeeed so I need a band aid for my boo-boo!" (This is an approximate translation done by noted field linguists who have studied the speech patterns of a crying 3 3/4 year old.)
I again asserted my opinion, as someone who once played a doctor during a school play in junior high, that the spot did not need a band aid.

"Waaaaaaaaah! Uhhhh! Uhhhhhhh! Waaaaaaah!"

And guess what - the sleeping baby in my arms woke up.

So I had Katie screaming in one ear, and Kristin howling in the other ear.

For about five minutes, I had screams in stereo. (Take THAT! Ric Ocasek!) I gave Katie a towel so she could dry off, and she dried off, put on her pull up, and then put on her jammies, all without losing a beat of her wailing.
I was impressed with her multi-tasking abilities.

Fortunately, Katie started to calm down and brushed her teeth - but that did not stop the little ball o' cry in my arms. The tears were flowing down her cheeks, the drool flowing down her face - and she tried to eat her fist. Ah, the signs of a baby in full teething mode.

I needed to get Katie to bed, though, and Katie had her teeth brushed and flossed and skipped to her room. I told her if I could get Kristin to calm down I'd read her a story.

Magically enough, Kristin did calm down enough for Katie and me to read "A Snowy Day". The light was out and Katie was soon asleep.

Whew! The World Series was on, and thanks to TiVo I wasn't going to miss a pitch, so I felt relieved.

Kristin was still in my arms, but then I needed to answer a call of my own. So I went downstairs, put her in the bassinette and did by business.


Within about 1.155 seconds (thanks, Swiss Timing) she started up again.
And I could not get her to stop.
I tried every trick in the book - I tried to feed her. Nope. I tried a pacifier. Nope. I tried a teething ring that we kept in the freezer. Nope. Nothing worked. She had her fist in her mouth, tears in her eyes, and drool everywhere.

I walked around with her all over the downstairs. That didn't work. I tried to get her in a dark room. Nope. I tried rocking her. Nope.

All this time I started the World Series, yet I could not afford a free hand to pause the game, not that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver were going to enhance my viewing pleasure, but still.

So I was missing the game while trying to comfort Kristin. All the time I was hoping that Liz would be home soon.
Finally, I just decided to sit with her on the love seat so at least I can watch the game while she's howling. I tried to rock her and calm her down, and finally, FINALLY, she conked out on my chest.

Within three minutes of this, Liz walked into the room. She said, "Looks like you have a calm house right now."


So where were we? Oh, yeah, drool.
I used to love to pick up Kristin and hold her over my head. She laughed and smiled big smiles when I did that.
Can't do that now. She's locked and loaded and ready to drool all over my good shirts. It's really hard to call your boss and say you'll be late because you have to change your shirt, lest you go to work with a big stain on your nice blue shirt.

There's another bonus to the drool - the increase in spit up. That means that Kristin is now a fashion plate baby going through three or four outfits daily. A diva already, sigh.

So right now Kristin is locked and loaded for bear on all fronts. She's armed and loaded.

But still cute as a button, of course, and that's what counts.

So, mama's (and papa's) - you know what I'm going through. A little drool won't kill ya, but you may want to be sure you have plenty of laundry soap handy. Because you may turn into a fashionista diva, wearing three or four shirts a day.

Just remember to strut!
The second guest entry I did was for clarity25, who is also locked. She had an interesting thing, she wanted everyone to reflect on how many days old they were and write a posting about it. Well, I did this right before I turned 40, on November 9th.

Clarity is a very sweet person who is currently in Germany with her husband but hopefully soon will be coming back to America to live. I was honored and flattered when she allowed my the room for my ramblings, and now they are posted below! Enjoy.


Howdy! It’s Smed, proprietor of Smed’s Corner, a place full to the brim of the finest essay writing of an almost 40-year old dad of two living in BFE Indiana.

You caught me in the middle of music week, which is actually interrupted today (Wednesday) for something very special. Click over to find out (then click to your heart’s content in my other content – you’ll be glad you did.)
I am hoping that the Gods of the internet will smile at me and my post will be free of gremlins and bugs, unlike my last guest entry.

Clarity invited me to pen a few words (and those who know me know that few is all relative, really) and I graciously accepted the challenge. She also gave me a topic, which I graciously accepted as well because of what today was and is for our family.

(Yes, it’s a cheap ploy to get more page views. I am such a stat hooooor….)

I am almost 40 – the birthday is in nine days (and I have an extensive wish list if you care to purchase something.) I’m 14,601 days old.

That doesn’t seem like a lot, really.
Then it also seems like it’s too many.
Considering that there are 365 days in a year (well, most years), to be alive 14,601 days doesn’t seem like an awful lot in the scheme of things. However, that’s a mighty big number to be throwing around.

Face it, if someone gave me $14,601 right now it would seem like a pretty good windfall to me.

I don’t feel my age. Sometimes I feel like I’m 30 or so. I definitely don’t feel like I’m in my 20’s, though. I do need my sleep! I’m young enough to still remember all of the hijinx of my 20’s – good times all around! (And I’m not telling what they are, either!)

I think I’ve lived each of my 14,601 days to the best of my ability. Except for those days when I was a bit hungover, or that day that I made that one error in judgement that got me in a sticky wicket (that I got out of), or that day then when I chose the wrong girlfriend for the summer. (Oh, I rue that day – just because I wasted a summer with the wrong gal. Sigh.)

But all in all, it’s been a good 14,601 days, and they’ll be a lot more good ones. Because I think I’ve made all of my bad choices already, and now just look for the good times ahead.

Excuse me, I gotta find my shades…
Well, thanks to both of them for allowing me to post my ramblings. Tomorrow, more guest entries with linky goodness!


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