Monday, July 22, 2013

Perfect Day!!

Let's go daddy!!

   I had no idea that having a kid could let me have this much fun so soon! For so long, it was just walks and boring books and changing diapers and feeding and scheming for ways to get Cara to do everything. Now, though, now there is exploring and learning and growing and diapers (yeah that one's still there).

   In high school, my buddy Jered-with-two-e's and I spent countless summer days doing the same few things: eating cereal, playing video games, biking to the fountain, floating the river, swimming at camp Harlow, going to a thrift store and turning down the ladies left and right. It was a problem. Like, "Girls! I want to get to know you for who you are, and I refuse to date more than one of you at a time!" We had several perfect days that involved all of those things.

Well, guess what Wyatt and I did today...

Bike to the river?! Check.

I know you are thinking "Where on earth is his life jacket!?" It's okay, crazy person! It's one of those invisible ones that you can't see but totally works.

Bike to the Fountain?! Check.

(he never actually got in the fountain, just got his feet and hands any my phone wet. Baby steps. Is that cliche? I think that's cliche. Get over it.)

Cereal?! Check (not pictured)

Thrift Store?! No. (not pictured)

Beating off ladies?! Yes. But it's not the same. Before, it was cheerleaders and soccer players and girls that were clearly in college. Now it's moms and grandmas, and they know that Wy's just the cutest! and the best! and what a big boy! and lookatthoscutelittlecheeks...! Come on ladies!! I'm getting sick of this!! I thought I got that point across in highschool! I need some space!!

We also played in the park.

He even fell in the water twice!! From the edge, he just got his bum wet, so don't freak out on me. You tend to do that.

By the end of the day he was tired, a little sun burnt and super happy.
I took this picture while riding my bike. Kidding!! No I'm not!! I actually did!!

We had a great day and lots of fun. Someone should make a children's book out of it. Looking at you, Sean. Best part of all? He slept great.

My mood: tired, drained, but super content
Wyatt's mood: tired, drained, ready for more tomorrow
Listening to: Pumped Up Kicks

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Everything A Guy Fears About Having Kids (And Some Things They Should)

   So you're a dude. You're a dude who is either single, in a relationship, or married without children. And you're stalling. Or you're afraid. Or you just think you don't want kids. Kids will take away your freedom and kill your fun. You're worried about your future because you are enjoying your present, and have enjoyed your past.

   I've seen the future. Let me tell you about it: it's terrifying.

   It was the 4th of July. 13 kids. All of them 8 or under. Two straight-up-babies. 4 nights. Boys and girls. A lake. A lakehouse. Explosives. Incomplete sentences. This is the setting of a dude's horror film.

   Now, luckily, the kids were well-behaved (except for Doug, who was the worst). But this weekend had everything that every future dad fears. In no particular order:

   Diapers. Bed Time. Seatbelts. Sunscreen. Meal Time. Messes. Other People's Kids. THE QUESTIONS. Safety. Clothes. Fussing. Never Sleeping. Let's get into it.

They really aren't that bad. Unless you can't handle the smell, or the idea, it's no big deal. You might have to change eight in one day and then one in eight days, and both of these will stress you out. You'll learn how to feed them food that makes the poo hard and you'll learn how to get your mom to change them when she's over. Diapers are not an issue. Get over it.
Your Fear Level: starts high and quickly plummets.

   Bed Time
This is not hard when your kid is a baby like mine. But wow. When there are several of them, and they "need" to brush their teeth (I say "need" in quotes, because I am pretty sure that brushing teeth is optional, but no dentist will ever tell you this), want a story, want a snack, and want to stall. I don't have kids plural, but I can tell that getting kids to bed will involve lots of threats and a whistle and then some marital counseling.
Your Fear Level: justified and accurate.

   Seat Belts
You know what I'm talking about. Having carseats and buckles and putting kids in and pulling them out. Belt buckles were seriously one of the most frustrating things about being in a van with 4 kids. The kids are always sitting on the part you need, it's always buried under carseats, and it's impossible to match the right buckle with the right strap. Goodness it is frustrating. But there's good news: If you can invent a system that never has the hookups underneath a kid's rump, you'll be a billionaire.
Your Fear Level: justified and accurate.

Ohmygosh run away. It is everywhere. It is sloppy and messy and runny. It doesn't work. You have to apply it every 6 minutes. If you don't someone dies. Make your kids wear the shirt, stay inside, and hope they love reading. Did you know that if a baby gets a bad burn in the first two years of its life, it's risk for cancer greatly increases? My wife told me this, so if I am wrong, as always, blame her. Gah I hate sunscreen.
Your Fear Level: You have no idea. A fear level of "Off the charts" suggests it was ever on the charts, and that would be misleading.

   Meal Time
So, this one. You've seen moms and dads have to prepare food, cut food, serve food, clean up food, and never actually eat any food themselves. Meal time is tiring and it is work, but, it is always preceded by fussiness or some sort of whining, so it is a great alternative. At some level, meal time is the part that is the most rewarding. It is hard and it is work, but it is worth it. So, yeah, be afraid of it, it's the worst, but it's also not that bad. There will be messes, it'll be okay.
Your Fear Level: Too high, calm down.

Do those bother you already? They shouldn't. You're a dude, get over it.
Your Fear Level: it's nothing new.

   Other People's Kids
Hmmm. This one is a tough one. Do you ever punish or reprimand? Do you congratulate them for little things? Do you try to engage with them? What if they are too rough? Or too scared? What if they are annoying or disobedient? I don't know. Feel it out. You're on your own here.
Your Fear Level: It is too low. This is serious. You could screw something up, like, with real people.

There are so many of them. Just so so many questions. So many, poorly phrased, slowly expressed, non-sensical questions. "oh, so, um, do you, do you, so, do you like to, so, um, do you like to go to school? Do you like to go to school?" When your brain eventually learns to tune in to just the last part, after all of the practice stuff, that's when you can begin to heal as a person. You will save your sanity for your later years when you really need it.

I cannot stress enough just how many questions are coming your way in your future. Just, think about putting Socrates on repeat on your walkman and you'll know what it's like. There's nothing to really fear, just know that it's coming and you'll need coping mechanisms. Preferably mechanisms that aren't alcohol-related, because that's a bad combination, coping and alcohol.
Your Fear Level: This is another one that you are accurately fearing. Just know it's coming.

We were at a lake. The kids had to wear lifejackets if they wanted to approach the water. It was fine.
Kids aren't going to be safe. You have to let that go. Last night (this is totally a true story), Wyatt fell through the window. Like he was walking along the window sill, the screen broke off, and he fell through. It. Was. Terrifying. He might have hit his head on the planter box, or landed on his neck, or broken a bone, or had a great time and laughed. I had NO WAY OF KNOWING. Look at this picture I took while he was lying on the ground crying, right before I grabbed him:

Kidding! I'd grabbed him and consoled him and all that stuff first.
They aren't going to be safe all the time. Just do the best you can and relax. Try to train them well, and have the hospital on speed dial. Especially if you have boys.
Your Fear level: probably accurate, but you should still take it down a notch or two, wherever it is.

Not a big deal. Chill out. Once the kid starts putting his arms through the sleeves on his own, you're good.

Seriously? You're worried about this?! No. Sunscreen, man, sunscreen. That's what separates the men from the men.

   Never Sleeping
Do you sleep now? Aren't all you guys out clubbin' and playing video games and drinking and partying until the wee hours anyways? Sleep is overrated. Batman only sleeps like two hours a night on average. Not sleeping is not a big deal. In fact, I found having a baby gave me a great opportunity/excuse to watch a lot of TV and play a lot of video games when he was up, by him just laying on me or wanting to be held. The never-sleeping aspect of parenting is hard at times, but it's a great excuse for all the things you normally screw up anyways. Principal: "Grant, why did you just tell your students you don't care if they are late to your class or someone else's?!" Me: "Sorry coach, I haven't been sleeping. You know. The baby."
Your Fear Level: Way, way too high. Use this to your advantage.

   For What It's Worth, everything I listed above isn't a huge deal with just one kid. Especially with just one baby. Sure, I've floated the river less than 5 times in the last three years (and I once floated the river 5 times in three days), and I now watch more Word Girl than New Girl, but all of the above things were the potential cons to a list, with none of the pros. Having a kid is worth it and it's great.
   Did I miss anything? Any thoughts?! Comment and let me know!!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Who is This "George" and Where Can I Find Him!?!

   I was pretty excited to see Wyatt for the first time. I don't miss people often, and I don't get excited for much (although I did, after an exclamation of joy, send my buddy a giddy text that said "Waffle Crisp Waffle Crisp Waffle Crisp," which I will talk about some other time). So, missing my family and being excited to see them is not a thing I have experienced often.

   We decided to film my reuniting with Wyatt, but it was so boring and bland that I won't bother posting it. But that got me thinking: Why?! Why wasn't he excited to see me? Have I been replaced?
   Whoa. Have I been replaced? There were signs. Who is "George?" He kept talking about George those last few days when we Skyped. Cara was seeming more aloof then usual. She's usually much more loof. Hmmm.

(this is samus)
   Every man has one nagging fear, one question when he's away from home: Will she find my cereal? (she didn't). But after that, other questions can linger. Like WHO THE HECK IS GEORGE, CARA!?!

   I always knew she still had a soft spot for Travis, the last guy she dated before that last guy she dated before me, but I thought it was innocent. It's similar to how I have a pretty serious crush on Samus: totally harmless. But this? Someone new? I'm not ready for this. I need to talk to Wyatt some more.

   All he says is George. He points and asks for George. He walks up to the computer and wants George. HE CAN SAY GEORGE, for crying out loud. He can't even say Grant! What is going on?! How could he be so fond of someone else so fast?! I'm freaking out!

   Watch this!

   Is he trying to Skype with George? Is that why he was wanting the computer so bad?! What is going on?
   Oh! Wait. I get it. Curious George. Well that's just adorable. I mean, he can see George and talks to him and can say his name, what fun this is! I even remember Cara talking about how much he says George all the time.
   Look at how cute he is when he says George. Just watch this video over and over and over. I have.

   Do you see how his lips are pursed, but barely move?! Try to say it on your own, and you'll see! Wow!

   Wow. George is a weird name. I realize that after saying it over and over, all on my own. I've never met, like, a kid named George before. I imagine if I were at the store and heard a mommy say "come here, George!" that the kid would have dark hair, glasses, and be 40. Do people grow into the name? Was every man who is a "George" today originally a Greg? And then, at his Bar Mitzvah or Quincinera or whatever, did he become George? This is the only thing that makes sense.

   Wyatt will watch Curious George (and sometimes say "Curious!") all day long, if you let him. I am just really happy that the show he loves isn't annoying, but actually kind of soothing (and has great music, too!) Man! What fun we've had today. I don't even remember what all of this commotion was over to begin with! Here's a video that I haven't watched at all!

My mood: calm and relaxed!
Cara's mood: loves her husband and hopefully never reads this!
Listening to: I Had The Time Of My Life And I Owe It All To You

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Long Distance Dad!!

   So, three weeks is a long time to be apart from your family. Seriously, before I become all "funny sarcastic guy" there were many times throughout my stint in Bozeman where I thought "how do people in the military do this!?" So, thanks for your sacrifice if you serve in the military.
   The longest Cara and I had been apart since getting married was two nights, which was also the longest Wyatt and I had been apart. (And for both of those two nights I was just confined to the couch. I kid!) I generally don't "miss" people or things much. With things like Skype and Instagram and Facebook and the US Postal Service, I figured staying caught up would be natural.
   We skyped most every night. At first, Wyatt would come up to the screen and talk and play. We'd sing songs (his favorite song is Happy Birthday, so we've sung it so much he's like 24 now. They do grow up fast), he'd watch me do my homework. He'd even give the screen kisses!! Isn't that the cutest thing evarr!!
   Then, after a few days he'd see me on screen and fuss. One night, he'd only go to bed if I was on the screen. Seriously. We left Skype on and I slept with the camera facing me. Cara says he woke up several times to check that I was there. Cue "awwwwww" from the crowd.

This is a dramatic re-enactment of the sleep-skype session. You probably figured this out by seeing a computer in the computer. It's like Zoolander or something.

   The next time, he asked me to pick him up. Stupid kid doesn't even know that I am not actually there!! I can't just reach out of the screen, Wyatt!! Sheesh! (This was pretty sad, really).
   From then on (and this is roughly after a week), he'd just fuss and cry everytime I was on Skype, so we gave up our family Skype sessions with two weeks to go.

   Two weeks!

   It's okay, though, because Cara recently bought a nice new camera, and she loved taking pictures of buffalo and trees and rocks and water while we were in Yellowstone, so of course she'd take TONS of pictures of Wyatt and send them to me! Or put them on facebook/instagram/yolo!
   These are the pictures she sent me. All of them.

She wanted to show how beat up his legs were. Just from "being a little boy."

The men don't really do shirts in this family.

Ok, so that wasn't all of them. There were a few more than I remembered - most of them sent in the last day or two - and a couple she wouldn't let me show because she's "not the prettiest in them." Yes you are, honey!

   These were her status updates while I was gone. All of them.

   Up above, also, with the facebook posts were the videos she took. All of them.
   Luckily my parents posted a couple of him being adorable, like this one

   But in general, my wife is pretty useless. She "couldn't get the camera to work" on our computer, so all of our skyping had only video of me, none of them. She "was too busy to take pictures," but I am starting to wonder if something else was up. More on this some other time.
   So I went like two weeks with only my desktop pictures and crappy old posts from my crappy blog to keep my connected to my special little son. This is a crime! Still, I am thankful to be home and glad I have such a great wife who kept him safe and happy. I just wish she didn't enjoy her time away from me so much.

My mood: trying to get back into my son's good graces! It's hard!
Wyatt's mood: skeptical of this guy in his house...
Listening to: Brahms

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

I'm Back!! I Bet You're Happy!!

It's like he's thinking "he's never coming back..."

   Whew!! Well, people, I was gone for a month, seeing Yellowstone and it's lung-healthy sulfur, and then learning math for three weeks in brain-healthy college in Montana. Four weeks I was gone, and three of them without my family!!
   Now, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking Four weeks!? That doesn't account for the fact that it's been like SEVEN MONTHS since you last blogged here!!
   Whoa, well, hold on now. It hasn't been seven months. That's just absurd. It's been like two. Like two months.
   Yeah, obviously I was exaggerating. Still, four weeks equals one month, it does not equal two months, or did you not learn that in math school?
   Whoa! Okay, I see you've been feeling betrayed. I get it, you checked this blog like maybe once, and were disappointed at the lack of pictures of me. But, still, there's no such thing as "math school" and you're just embarrassing yourself now. So let's calm down a bit and -
   You calm down! I demand an explanation!!
   Whoa! I really thought you'd just be glad I was back! It's not like I've been forcing you to come here (except for you, Cara, I know), so, let's just get on with the blog post and the pictures and the low-quality videos and stuff.
   Yeah, sure, just like that. We've all been just DYING until you've returned. How did we ever survive without you for all these years?!?
   Whoa, you're really mad. The last time you were this mad, I think I calmed you with a picture of Ryan Gosling. Did that work? Let's see if that works:

   Listen! I'm not going to... it's just... it's just that his shirt is SO TORN! Is he looking at me?! Does he know I'm here?
   He does.
   Wow. It's like they made him a shirt that would only fit if it was torn. How did they do that? Why did they do that? Still, I bet he would never ABANDON ME FOR TWO MONTHS!! What is wrong with you, and how dare you try and turn RyGos into a weapon!
   Whoa! "RyGos?" Really?
   Don't try to distract me!
   Whoa! I don't have to do this! I don't! It's summer time and I could be playing video games or floating rivers or working in my garden that I've been neglecting! Sheesh! It's like your my son all over again. Sure, he was talking to me on Skype and singing songs and giving me kisses the first week I was gone, but by the third he didn't even want to see me anymore. When he did see me, he cried for a second and then went to play with his cousins. So, yeah, maybe I am not in the mood to get yelled at by a non-toddler at the moment.
   First, it's confusing when you put "non-toddler" in italics because I thought I was saying that but I was like "wait I am not saying that," but second, tough. Get over it. You're the one who left us, not the other way around. You need to make up for that.
   Whoa, whoa. Okay. Whoa.
   STOP SAYING "WHOA!" You've started every paragraph with the word "Whoa!" This isn't Blossom!!
   Does that even make sense?
   I think that Joey guy always said "whoa" on that show, right? No I will not google it!
   Listen, let's just call this a day. I'll come back later and try to get this thing started right. How do you like that?! NO BLOG FOR YOU TODAY!! Maybe you should go read Dan Meyer's Blog to fill the time. It's a math blog. It's a blog about teaching math. I hope you like math, you ungracious little piece of meatball. Ha! Look at you. Now you're stuck reading a blog about math and you probably hate math. Maybe that'll teach you to be nicer to a guy who's kid couldn't care less about him when they first saw each other. That's all.
   Now just you wait a se-

My mood: Pretty great!!
Listening to: Call Me Maybe