Monthly Archives: November 2005

Some Days

Why do some days seem so much harder than others? There are some days when I just want to pack it all in. Forget all about staying at home with the girl and jump right back into full time work. Just give up. Today was one of those days, and for no particular reason, other than I am living with an energy vampire – a toddler.

Mind you, our lives have been in a bit of turmoil for the past 2 weeks. The move went well and the girl took to the new house like she has lived here all her life. Her Mother and I, on the other hand, have been stress central and the girl has to pick up on that. Can there be any event in life with such diametric emotions attached to it than moving into a new home? One minute pure ecstasy as you marvel over your good fortune to find the home of your dreams. The next despair as you suffer from the worst case of buyer’s remorse you can imagine. I’m not sure what the real estate market in your area is like, but where we live it is ruthless, cutthroat and overpriced, leading to rushed decisions on the most important purchase of your life. You are filled with self doubt and anxiety, wondering if you have been as thorough as possible, placing the fate of your family in the hands of realtors, building inspectors, bankers and other people looking to make massive amounts of cash off you. But I digress…

Like I said, some days just seem harder than others. The extra struggle trying to get her dressed as she flops around like an electrified octopus, screaming and crying at the top of her lungs. The extra effort of trying to strap a 2×4 into a car seat so you won’t be late for her play group. Trying to play United Nations peacemaker with the other kids, negotiating the landmine of 2 pushcars for 30 kids. The extra concentration required while you try to carry on a phone conversation with a roofer with a human fog horn strapped to your leg bellowing DADDYDADDYDADDYDADDY! And the constant demands for upeee, uppeeee, upppeeeee.

Some days it is all I can do from screaming TAKE ME AWAY FROM HERE! Get me back to the sanity of backstabbing co-workers and bastard bosses. Of impossible deadlines and even more impossible budgets. Take me back to sanity of the real world.

And then the moment happens. Just when she is drifting off to sleep in her mothers arms you hear a tiny voice say, “I love you, Da.” And you realize that tomorrow is indeed another day and that this, too, shall pass.

This Old House

The girl is napping. Mom is at work. All is quiet. And it is in these quiet moments that it hits me – we are leaving this house.

We’ve only been here 5 years, but the memories these walls hold seem to encompass a lifetime. This was our first house. The house that, when purchased off a 94 year old woman, had so much potential. New paint here, redo the cupboards there. My first lawn to mow. Our first garden to tend. The first nursery to paint.

This is the only home the girl has known, and at almost 2 she doesn’t quite understand what is going on. She is tender. Over and over she asks “Mommy coming, Daddy coming, Baby coming?” to which we respond, “Yes, yes and yes. Everybody is coming to the new house.” She is still for a moment. Then it starts again, this time with an emphatic nodding of her head, “Mommy coming, Daddy coming, Baby coming?”

Our first house. Her only house.

The reasons are valid: not enough space, a backyard that remains flooded from November to March, no dining room, too much tripping over each other. Yet it is still sad to leave the memories, like walking into this house with the girl the very first time. That moment when her Mom and I exchanged a sideways glance that we both knew meant, “This is it. We’re on our own. Now what?” I never knew one glance could reveal so much information.

This is the bedroom where we first stayed up all night with a sick girl, throwing up over and over and forcing us to cancel a (rare) planned weekend trip away from home that we had both been looking forward to. Another sideways glance. Ah well, I guess this is what being a parent is all about.

The backyard where last summer the girl found the garden hose, squeezed the trigger and turned it on full force blasting her unsuspecting Dad in the back with a frigid squirt of icy cold water that, in the hot July sun, felt like heaven.

Goodbye old house. You have been very good to us.

Hello new home. A new home, waiting to be filled new memories. Perhaps bringing home a new baby and crossing a new threshold – this time secure in the knowledge that we can do it.

Curious George Coming to Small Screen

And it is about time!

PBS has launched a new five-year initiative called PBS Kids Next Generation Media. One of the components of the new initiative are new kids TV programs including Curious George. And narrated by the great William H. Macy no less.

PBS also wants to expand into online gaming with, they say, an educational component. I’m a big fan of not only PBS, but also the companion websites which I think really compliment their tv shows. Check out their American Master website for the recent Bob Dylan No Direction Home biography. It features an interactive concert map where people who have seen Dylan in concert can share their stories, and an Influences map that charts artists who were influential to Dylan’s career.

Hopefully PBS will be able to carry their fine tradition of kids programming online. After all, this is the home of Sesame Street, which (despite the fact that it is now sponsored by McDonalds) is still a great kids program.

Playgroups: Aerobics for Kids

I have a theory that the same people who design playgroups also design aerobic classes because if you are new to either, you can’t follow the routines.

Somehow both aerobics instructors and playgroup leaders seem to believe that just because we show up, we know the drill. Well, I don’t, and neither does the girl. She usually game to follow along with the new songs and routines, but after 2 or three failed zigs when she should have zagged and knocking the poor kid next to us into next week (which always elicits a nasty sideways glance at me from the poor kids Mom) she gets frustrated. Problem being, when the girl gets confused and looks to me for help, all she gets from her Dad is a dofus with all the grace of a moose stuck in a bog.

Here’s a note to leaders of playgroups: for the sake of parents everywhere, do your routines twice. The first time, show us what you are going to do, then we can all follow along and retain some dignity in the eyes of our kids when they look to us for the answers.


Okay, it may be the 67 mini Kit-Kats speaking, but I loved Halloween last night. The look on the girl’s face each time she opened the door and was greeted with a “TRICK OR TREAT” delivered by a lion / pirate / Alice in Wonderland / Spiderman / Ghost was totally worth the sugar hangover today.