Saturday, January 6, 2007

Scenes of Spring?

As a follow-up to "Not To Sound Ungrateful But..." I wanted to post some pictures of the Helper and the Girl (the Helper's Big Sister). Outside fun makes for long, long naps, and it's good exercise too, right?
Interesting Side Note: The Helper and his Sister share the same birthday - January 16th - eleven years apart. Cool, huh?

The Girl is teaching him how to swing. Saves me from having to push him all the time. She's such a good girl. The Helper is playing with his new remote control truck. A Christmas gift from our friend "Bem" a.k.a. Jenn. It's rated for 8 and over so, of course, he has to use it with adult supervision, though, he only lets me play for a minute or so. The poor girl tried to find some refuge to read her book...silly, silly, girl. What was she thinking? I'll have to show her some of my hiding spots, that boy has the instincts of a bloodhound.

Yes, I sat on the porch and told him to chase the car around while I drove. Am I brilliant, or what? He did it and thought it was a blast...who cares if Sister and I had ulterior motives, hee hee ;)

Not wanting to leave anyone out -- the Baby napped while all the outside frolicking took place. He's resting up... big day tomorrow as our JETS will be kickin' some PATRIOT butt!

Update: Baby still napping, the Helper has passed out in his room and the Girl has left for a sleepover at friends... ah, the sounds of silence. I guess my little plan worked.

Not To Sound Ungrateful But...

It’s 77 degrees in my house, all my doors and windows are open, I live on Long Island and it’s January 6th. My thermometer on my deck says 68 degrees and I hear it might be going to 70 in Central Park today. The front page of our local paper said that the cherry blossom trees in the Brooklyn Botanical Garden are blooming. What’s the deal? I’m sweatin’ my ass off here!

I don’t want to sound ungrateful because this is saving me a fortune on heating bills. Though, as you’ve read my, neighbor just filled my oil tank. I repaid her this week by putting up a shed which the Helper took credit for, obviously.

I’m positive once my blood thins out; it’ll drop below freezing…this is some sort of sick joke. I like the change of seasons. If I wanted 70 degree temperatures in January I’d move south of Jersey.

I have to go now and break out some shorts and t-shirts. I have to say though; this is definitely helping with the kid patrol. No kooked up cabin fever here! Anyone need a used snow shovel…cheap?

Friday, January 5, 2007

The Measure of Success

One day down, seven to go!
The Mommy is on her way home.
Children have been fed and napped.
Coloring took place.
Fort building with blankets was a highlight. (Daddy has some great clamps from the shop.)
House is clean.
Car Parts have arrived.
There was no blood, no screaming, only a small amount of whining and crying. (Big mean Daddy said no to more Reese's Peanut Butter cups.)
I only had coffee and ginger ale to drink... all in all, a very successful Friday.

Today's TODAY Show

I know I should just let these things roll off my back…but I can’t, must be a character flaw. On this morning’s TODAY Show on NBC, Al Roker did a segment on becoming better parents in 2007. While the content of the segment was informative in a gender neutral way, I have an issue with the opening video. The story was introduced by running a series of candid interview videos with parents. Eleven out of twelve of these videos interviewed a Mom only – the only video that had a Dad in it said, “He hoped he’d get a chance to spend more time with his family this year.” He was sitting at a table three feet away from his daughter. All the Moms were either holding their children or touching them in some way. While I know I’m probably overly sensitive about this subject – I’m not paranoid…am I? Just goes to show that Parents=Moms according to the unbiased, well-informed American media. Hey, I’m raising two boys here and in 2007 the media still tells us that “Leave It To Beaver” is the "model family" goal. Any thoughts folks?

See for yourself. Watch the video HERE!

Eight Days and Counting

The Mommy started an eight day stretch of work today, and it’s going to rain. Her next day off (and my next day off) is a week from Saturday. I’m prepared though – new coffee maker and bags of beans – just can’t run out of milk!

I’ve put on my cruise director’s hat…Hmmm… I wonder what Julie McCoy would do with three kids, a rainy weekend, and no car? I’ll get creative; taking down holiday decorations seems like good ‘ole family fun.. Though, I was wondering, is it really that bad to wash down Xanex with beer? If my posts suddenly cease would someone please send help!

Thursday, January 4, 2007

Ah, This Is The Life...

It’s been unseasonably warm here in the Northeast and I took advantage of that today. I spent the morning on pet poop patrol. I can think of no better way to spend a beautiful Thursday morning. Mommy was home today so I set out early to clean the backyard and empty the litter box. Armed with black plastic bags, rakes, gloves and a pitch fork I was merrily on my way. Could my job as a full-time dad get any better…I think not! The Helper stood on the deck and provided “direction” as I policed the back yard; this is one of those tasks he doesn’t “help” with – I don’t see why not. When he gets older though, boy won’t he be surprised at his chore list. Hey, chores build character, right? Between diapers, litter boxes and dogs I’m up to my neck in…character!

When all was said and done I felt a great sense of accomplishment. The dogs and cat were happy with me too. Though I’m thinking about not feeding them anymore – screw the ASPCA! I wouldn’t have to do this in prison!

Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Baggage Claim - The Great Class Equalizer

This is one of those posts that has more to do with humanity than parenting or my kid’s funny anecdotes. Please indulge this diversion for a moment. For those of you who’ve never had the experience of picking someone up from a New York airport at midnight, this is for you…

It’s midnight at New York’s LaGuardia Airport in Flushing, Queens. I’m here to pick up my friend coming in from Palm Springs, by way of Dallas. Her flight has been delayed from 12:10 a.m. to 12:41 a.m. Not bad when you consider an hour delay at LaGuardia is the norm. I’ve been to this airport many times and know my way around quite well. Although, I was a little concerned when it took me forty minutes to get into the airport due to some traffic back-up. But I have left plenty of time and it is not a problem. I find the gate where my friend will be arriving and check the monitor for an update…still due in at 12:41 a.m. It's 12:20 a.m., so I find a good vantage point and armed with my cell phone and iPod I wait. While lost in some music, I notice quite a commotion going on over at the baggage claim area. Hmmm… I think, this could be interesting. I glance over to find approximately 700-1000 people crammed into baggage claim. Uh oh, this is not good. It seems 3 or 4 plane loads of luggage has not arrived. I gather from nearby conversations that some people have been waiting over three hours for their flight’s luggage. The situation is deteriorating fast.

The thing that struck me was that differences in culture, class, race, social and economic status seemed to melt away when everyone was faced with the same problem. It didn’t matter if you were just in from Palm Beach wearing your Ralph Lauren cable knit and carrying your Prada backpack or from St. Louis using plastic shopping bags as carry-on (nothing against St. Louis). Everyone was the same. Aires of affluency and poverty disappeared, if only for that moment. Annoyed, angry, frustrated, tired, and fed-up, people were talking, laughing, and commiserating with each other. People who would never give each other a second look were bonding over the issues at hand. The first and foremost issue; execute any airline representative who dared to venture into the mêlée. The airline (who shall remain nameless) seemed to be content making inaudible announcements that just added to the frenzied atmosphere.

My friend’s flight finally landed at 1 a.m. and I meet her at the gate… so much for the updates on the monitors. I tell her of the situation in baggage claim. We put on our armor and venture into the battlefield. To my surprise delight relief, her flight’s bags are presently being circulated. It takes me about 4 minutes to find her bag, I grab it and we make a move toward the exit, just then a group of guys turn around and say, “Congratulations!” I smiled and high tail it to the door. No need being here any longer than we have to – when things hit rock bottom I don’t want to have to be interrogated by the police or deposed by the lawyers.

Whoever said that New Yorker’s aren’t friendly has never met us when we’re pursuing a common cause. Psychologists might call it "mob mentality." I call it resolve for a common cause. The ugly situation made me see again that we’re not all that different from one another. If we could only get together on matters that are more serious than lost luggage, humanity would certainly be a force to be reckoned with.

Tuesday, January 2, 2007

A Late Night Ahead... and Some Updates

I’m picking up my friend at the airport tonight. She’s returning from a ten day vacation in Palm Springs, CA. She’s the one I’ve been pet sitting for and whose car I’ve been using. Her flight gets in at 12:30 a.m. EST and it’s about an hour and a half drive home. I expect to be in bed by three, hopefully. The Helper has gone to Nannie’s overnight; he won’t be home until tomorrow night. Mommy’s dropping the Baby off at Nan’s tomorrow before she goes to work. All so I can get some sleep tomorrow. Have I mentioned before how much I am in love with this woman. I think I have, but it needs repeating. I love you honey!

A follow-up to “Real Men Don’t Cry”: The Baby had to go to the Dr.’s today for another vaccine and check up. He’s doing great; 75th-90th percentile on height and weight, as well as, making all his developmental milestones. This is always a big worry for us parents until they’re “out of the woods.” Supposedly, when they’re forty or so…that’s what I hear at least.

A follow-up to “Dad, My Socks Are Boring”: The Helper announced to Mommy and me, on New Year’s Eve that his room is “boring” too. Well, to be honest, we really haven’t changed it since he was a baby. Mommy and I have been talking about a room renovation but not until this summer. I think a remodel will be sooner than later, though. Especially, seeing as he was such a big help when we were doing his brother’s room in preparation for the baby’s arrival. My only problem is a logistical one – where to put all the crap toys while I’m repainting and revamping. Oh maybe he’ll just have to out grow this “boredom” phase. Or maybe he can just embrace a minimalist design concept. We’ll see -- I’ll keep you posted if anything else becomes “boring.” I sure hope I’m not boring to him? Hmmm… I’ll have to ask him. Thanks for reading!

Monday, January 1, 2007

Us & Them

Us & Them
By Long Island Dad

Our children grow, we get old.
They anticipate, we procrastinate.
Their knowledge increases, our memories dim.
They laugh at all, we dare to grin.

Their world is endless, ours needs mending.
Their eyes are bright, ours need sight.
Their hope is gaining, ours is straining.

Their energy is boundless, ours is confined.
Their love is infinite, ours is measured.
They know all, we know best.
Their time is coming,
Ours is here.

Who's The Daddy

Thanks to our friend at I'mNotASlacker for this article published today in Britain's Telegraph. Read it here.

Another Year Goes By...Another Year Arrives

I wish all of you a Happy New Year! I hope that you and all your loved ones had/have a happy, safe, and healthy year.

As a native New Yorker I have never been to Times Square on New Year's Eve, and last night was no exception. We stayed home and most of us were in bed before midnight. The Mommy had to get up around midnight to calm a hyper 4 year old and deal with our dogs. Inconsiderate neighbors seem to think fireworks provide a great New Year’s celebration. Those of you with dogs know most of them despise fireworks.

Today is a “workday” for us; the Mommy had to be to work by 7 a.m. and I started my day at 5 a.m. I’m still taking care of my friend’s pets and had to be there and back before Mommy left for work at six. Though it’s not all bad – I get to have some computer time before the boys’ wake up, as well as, a peaceful pot cup of coffee.

There’s always a lot of talk about resolutions this time of year. A post from our friend at WipingUpSnot started me thinking… She asked us some questions about the upcoming year and I didn’t have any answers. I don’t make resolutions; I think they set us up for failure. I think it’s that I don’t like the word “resolution.” I prefer “goals.” There are many things I have achieved in my life and a couple more I still want to try. Failing to achieve a goal is not as damaging to our egos as breaking a resolution. We can spend a lifetime trying to accomplish one of life’s goals. Yet we only have a year for our resolution. I’m not saying it isn’t a good idea to change things that aren’t working, but I’d rather be working towards something rather than trying not to break something.

I make a real effort to live in the present. I can’t change the past and tomorrow is promised to no one. There are things I try to do everyday to be a better person, husband, father and son. Some days I make progress. I try to learn from past failures, as well as, past successes. But in the end it’s about what’s happening today, now, this minute.

On a personal note; I married the best partner a man could have, I love her more and more everyday. I started and ran my own business which became more successful than my wildest dreams, then was able to give it up and start another phase of my life as a full-time father to my beautiful, smart, healthy children.. If I had no tomorrows I would have no regrets except that I didn’t have more time doing these things I love. That’s all, I think, anyone can ask for... Okay, maybe I’ll try to eat better.

Again, Happy New Year, and thanks for reading!


a.k.a. Long Island Dad