Monday, August 26, 2013

My Life Is A Series Of Grunts, Nods and Points!!

I said "Go get ready to go to the park!" He grabbed a pail, and filled it with toddler necessities: a toy police truck, 4 crayons, a bouncy-ball, and a bink. He had a bink in his mouth already, so this was a spare.

   I feel like this little story encapsulates my life right now:
   At the park, there were 4 little toddler boys with 4 little toddler dads. Wyatt was probably the second youngest. They were all playing in the sand, which has a fun little water feature. Not a single word was said. By the kids or the dads. The little ones would play with each other, which means they'd grab sand and dump it in the same place. Sometimes one of them would point to the faucet and one of the dads would pour some more water. Sometimes one would leave to play somewhere else, and eventually one of the boys would follow. But I have no idea what any of the other boys sound like, or what words they can say, or what their names are, or how they feel about diapers.
   After about 7 minutes of this, two girls showed up. You could hear them a mile away. Just chatter chatter question answer chatter chatter. Ugh. Makes me sick. They were a bit older than our frat party, but it was outrageous. They are never going to sneak up on a bird that way (which is Wyatt's main goal in life at the moment).

   Wy is able to communicate what he wants, and where he wants to go, very clearly now. It's just, he doesn't like to use words to do it. He points, grunts, says "no" or "oh no!" or "uh-huh," and then he points some more. (Here's how we ended up at the park in the first place: He said "Up?" So I picked him up. Then he pointed forward (hallway). Then he pointed left (front door). Then he knocked on the door (open). Then he pointed out, left, forward, forward, forward, left, forward, right, forward, forward (walk to the park). Then he pointed down and said "up?" (down?)) I think he is learning this from Curious George. Ironically, "Curious" and "George" are two of the only words I heard all day.

Grunting, pointing AND watching George. What more could he want?
   Sometimes, if he wants a thing, he will point and grunt at the thing even if it is like 4 inches away from him. What laziness!! He gets it from his mom, who is known to come in from the kitchen, sit on the couch, and then ask me to get her some juice from the kitchen where she just was. She usually asks by grunting.

   It's so great!! I love it so much!! Sometimes there are days when Cara is at work and I am home and I have ABSOLUTELY NO CONTACT WITH SOMEONE WHO HAS A VOCABULARY OF MORE THAN A DOZEN WORDS!! What fun! It's like, if I could do this forever and ever, I totally would because being a parent is that important.

   Then Cara comes home and, since she's a girl, it's all Talk Talk Talk Question Answer Feelings Feelings Make Me A Sandwich. It's tough for me to make the transition sometimes.

My mood: chatty
Wy's mood: grunty
Listening to: that song that goes "doop doop doot, wha-da-doo-doo-doo-doo-doo" in the background.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Public Meltdown!!

   We all love watching a train wreck, right? People tune in to see Amanda Bynes break down over the last, what, twenty months? Or LiLo for the last, what, twenty years?! It's just so fun to sit on our couches in our perfect little lives and judge imperfect people.

   That's why a good facebook implosion makes for good blogging. I have a ... friend ... who experienced one of these recently. Now, we all know that raising a child can drive anyone crazy, even if that kid is perfect and, as parents, we too are perfect. Let's watch this one, which happens over the span of about nine hours. Names and pictures have been erased to protect the innocent bystanders.

    Oh, the poor parent. Unsure of how to proceed, and asking for a little bit of help and validation through facebook. Notice how the parent is trying to convince others as well as himself of his lack of fear. A few good friends chime in with some support and advice, but, this isn't looking good.

   Oh man. Not off to a good start here. Why not google these questions? When you ask the random population, someone is going to offer something like fish soap. Do fish need bathing these days? I wonder if he tried sugar, because, it seems like that would work.

   Oh, yeah, this is a clear sign that dad's breaking down. The rules and structure of the household are going out the window. Look at how tatted that little boy is now! And ink on the bed!? Will the madness continue forever!?
   What's that you say? Oh, yeah, I guess the facebook post does have the name "Wyatt" in it, but that doesn't mean it's me. There are a lot of Wyatt's out there. No, we have no idea who is having this humiliating public display, and we never will.

   Notice how abandoned Grant (Shoot! My name!!) is right now. No likes, no advice, no support. People aren't sure how to help, or what to do. He's breaking down!! It's so sad. Also, he's right, it's always coming.

   Whoa!! Where's this coming from!? There's some latent, repressed emotion spewing forth now!! This is like stage 6 of Public Breakdown Stages, and it's not pretty. And why on earth are people liking this?! People are often.

   Okay, what kind of a parent can't tell which sort of thermometer is present?! And when someone offers genuine help (not that jerk talking about taste, but the one who wants a picture), he's totally uncooperative!! He gets what's coming to him, that's for sure.

   Oh, how sad it is when someone has fallen so far that their accomplishments would still be the worst part of anyone's day. And who's the brat that finds all this entertaining!? And look at how Grant (the victim) is getting no support, whereas Wyatt (the perpetrator, the inflictor of harm upon Grant) is getting all the love. Makes me sick. Literally, I think I am getting what Wyatt has...

   WHO CAN YOU TRUST!? That's the main thought going through Grant's mind at this stage. People are exploiting him, mocking him, liking his failures and offering advice. What advice is good?! And look at that Jefferson Ray creep. I am actually including his name and his photo so that EVERYONE KNOWS TO AVOID THIS GUY. KEEP HIM AWAY FROM CHILDREN.

   Whew! A brief respite. Some time to recover and then inevitable relapse. It's so nice to have a break and really feel the healing begin.

   Relapse!! We all knew it was coming. There's always the fear of relapse, of never truly conquering one's demons. What a sad state for this once great man. Some kind soul offers some advice about watching football, and, is that other person making a racist comment?!

   So you're curious! (curious!) And that's marvelous (marvelous!) And that's you're reward: You're never bored!! If you're curious, like Curious George!

   Wait, is that Mick Jagger!? He's friends with Mick Jagger?! And Mick Jagger is taking the time to personally offer some words of wisdom, from experience?! That's amazing! This Grant guy must be really, super cool, because the above photo was clearly not doctored in any obvious way.
   But do you see what's happening!? Now people are abandoning him. He's become toxic. He can't be helped. What ever happened to commitment in marriage?! What ever happened to "For Better or For Worse?!" I am referring to the comic strip, which, it's like, what's up with that one?

   Did you know he writes a successful, hilarious blog?! You probably didn't. You should share it with all of your friends and like it and join and maybe send donations?! Wait, has this all been some publicity stunt?

   Ah, closure. The wife has returned and everything is okay. He's making amends with those he has harmed, which is a necessary step. And the wife offers her heartfelt sentiment that he never return to this dark time in his life. One person up-thumbs.

   23 people liked this!? 23!! That's more pageviews than I get in a day. Where were these people when I was falling apart?! Lost and insecure! Lying on the floor!! Where were you!? Why'd you have to wait!? Just a little late!!
   Ugh. As always, mom's the worst and I am on my own. No need to thank me, for getting our son through the day sick while you worked. I don't do it for the thanks. I do it for the reward of being miserable all day. That's all I need.

My mood: thinking about getting a drastic new haircut
Wy's mood: still not feeling great (sadface)
Listening to: Curious George and The Fray

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Wife's Turn!!

Cara made me pick this photo. She thinks it looks like I want to kiss her,
or something.  She just likes it when I look stupid. Well, I'll show her.

   People are always stopping me in the street, when I'm driving, and they always have one question: "How does your wife feel about all this?!"
   Now, I'm super modest, so I pretend I don't know what they are talking about. It'd be rude of me to assume they are referring to my "ridiculous blog" as my sister once called it, and not, say, my phenomenal fashion sense. "Feel about what?!" I respond with a practiced, quizzical look. "My phenomenal fashion sense?"
   "Your blog." They say. "You know, the one that I hear gets nearly 27 page views every day. The one where you talk about her being at work and never doing the dishes and ruining pretty much everything (which I have to agree, she does). Does it ever bother her?!"

   That's a great question, random peasant. I've asked her many times to write her own post or two, but she never gets around to it, mumbling something about "paying bills" and "no one ever takes out the trash around here." So, I figured I'd help her out.

   I'll ask the questions. I'll type her responses for her. This can't go wrong.

   Cara, your husband talks about you all of the time. Does it ever get uncomfortable?! Has he ever really angered you with something he said?!
   Theres always potentail for that, yes. Oh, sorry if my spelling is bad, I can't really spell or type or punctuate good. But no, he's good about running anything by me that might actual be an issue. For me or someone else.

   So when he talks about how much you work, and says things like "Wyatt just started saying [your] name a few days ago," and then makes you out to be an awful wife and mother, you're not upset?!
   No, I think people realise he's making fun of himself, not me. He's always painting a picture like he's on the couch playing video games while I am working and doing all the chroes. I mean that literaly. He's literaly painting. He's a great paintist. But that's not the case, he's not as lazy as he wants you to think he is. He just finds it funnier that way.He has a job and he makes more food than I do. And he's a way better cook. And really, if I would just pick up my own clothes every once in a while the house would be pretty clean, too. I mean, how could he be lazy when he blogs SO MUCH!?
   A lot of people don't realize how hard it is to blog. It's the pictures in particular. He has to take the pictures. Then go to the darkroom on campus and develop them. Then scan them at Kinko;s. Then go to the computer and load them onto a thumb drive. Then put them on his computer to put on his blog. It's a huge process.
   Um... no.
   What? Do you seriously thing that's the process?
   It's not like you can go straight from film - to - blog.
   He's not using film.
   Of course he is, what else would he use?
   Is that what he's been telling you?! Does he just disappear for hours at a time to "put pictures on his blog" or something?!
Yeah! About twice a week. He leaves with a bunch of quarters, and then he usually comes home smelling like an arcade.
   Oh, okay, yeah. That's legit. Let him keep going with that.

   Now, people have called your husband an innovator and a once-in-a-generation talent. 
   I don't think that's ever happened.
   No it totally has. Does this threaten you at all?!
   [laughs] Ha! No. I am just happy to be married to him. Its a great adventure. [looks longingly at photo of Grant and sighs].

   He has his fair share of groupies and internet stalkers. They call themselves "Grant's Girls," I think. Have you met any of them!?
   What?! No, um, that's not a thing. I haven't met any of these fake people.
   No it's totally real. I'm one of them.
   Wait, what?! Who is supposed to be asking these questions?
   It doesn't matter. Don't worry about it. Just know how lucky you are to have him. But, it must bother you that he is so darn handsome and is such an inescapable internet presence.
   He's not that handsome. He's like, passable at best.

   Do you ever worry that Wyatt's friends will see this blog in a few years and he'll become a pariah?
   I do. Grant makes a lot of fun of everyone. It's pretty much his only known method of showing affecshun. Last night he told me I had "one of the biggest pieces of pie he'd ever seen a woman eat." and that it "Kind of makes him sick to think about." Ha! What fun. So, yes, I am afraid that kids will make fun of Wyatt in a fashion similar to how Grant does. But, a pharoah?! No, um, I don't really see how that relates to the issue. Do they even have those anymore?
   [Rolls eyes] Ugh. Let's move on. What about those pictures?! We talked about them a bit before, but I'd like to have a non-ridiculous conversation about them. Who takes them all? Are there any you cringe at?
   He works pretty hard on his body. So no. That's all good. Just keep it tight.
   Oh yeah.

   Is there anything you'd like to say before we close this thing up?
   Yeah. When Grant and I were in college, sometimes I'd just go to his house and watch him and his roommates play video games. Smash Bros or Zelda or a Final Fantasy or something. Grant was under the impression this would continue after we got married, and has felt betrayed ever since. I don't watch him play games, or play with him, hardly at all. I feel awful about this and vow to change my ways from this day forward. I promise!!

  So there you go. Now all of you can stop hassling me at the grocery store about when Cara gets a turn. She can have a turn whenever she wants one. You can also stop asking my for my best brownie-making recipe, just use the one on the back of the box of brownies!!

My mood: glad that's over with
Wyatt's mood: wants to play in the water!!
Listening to: Dave Matthews

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Kid Can't Even Sleep Right

although, it does look pretty comfy...

Speaking of doing it wrong, these were my last two attempts at making cookies...

Sure, they look good, but that's cause they're cookies. I was embarassed to share them with my wife, and thus I ate them all myself. I'm a good husband!!

My mood: wondering if failure is in our jeans
Wyatt's mood: tired and fell asleep, right on the floor.
Listening to: Live

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Here's A Bunch Of Pictures!!

(true story: almost all of these pictures were taken by people other than Cara and me)

"Don't mess with me. You don't want to know what's in my shirt."

Wy loves auntie Ashley!!

Auntie Ashley loves Wy too!!

I... I don't know who this is.

No seriously who is this person!? Do you know!? Can you tell me please!?

Monday, August 12, 2013

An Ode To Keens

   Keens. These are the world's greatest shoes for a young walker. I haven't actually tried every shoe, but these are tough to beat. Let me tell you why:
  • Go on super easy
  • Stay on super well
  • Protect the toes
  • Can get wet no problem
  • No socks
  • Super cute
  • Little loopie things on the heels (those might seem like they are trivial, but pulling the heel of that shoe out as the foot goes in can be magical. Also, I felt like I needed more than seven things on the list)
   Cara found our first pair at a thrift store. Wyatt wore them for weeks, which is like years in baby time. Then we realized they were different sizes. After that, we scoured sales and thrift stores and garage sales and other people's closets when they weren't home. We have the pair you saw above, and are planning on buying every-other size for the rest of his life.
   They are literally the only shoes he has worn in the past 4 months. I don't even know if we have all the matching pairs with the rest of his shoes anymore.

   Now, let's make one thing clear: These shoes are not Chacos.

   Chacos are the world's best shoe, obvs. No self-respecting adult doesn't not wear any other shoe. One day he'll grow into his first pair, and, in a perfect world it would be his only pair. Because they are that great. They are the world's best shoe because:
  • look at them
  • no, seriously, have you seen them?
  • and look at how little Wy's shoes are compared to mine?! What a cute little guy he is.
  • Also, you'll note that I don't have a toe strap. This was a big decision on my part. I mean, when you get a pair of Chacos you are wearing them for life. Maybe not your whole life, but definitely the cool exciting parts of your life.
  • I plan to die in these Chacos. I mean, like, seriously, I have planned my death and I will be wearing my Chacos. No, I'm not going to tell you the plan. Forget it.
  • No! Really! Forget it!
  • Okay I'll tell you this: flying squirrel suits.
  • No. Wait, no. Not that. That's just an adorable kid's costume. In fact, I might get one of those. No, I am talking about the actual dudes that fly in those suits and aren't little girls:
  • What is going on?!
  • And where is her torso!?

  • There. That's just a part of the plan. Not the whole thing, or even the exciting part, because that would be terrifying.
  • Also I am obvs not wearing Chacos in this part of the plan.
   In conclusion, Keens are great for toddlers. In fact, I think they are my best piece of advice: If you have a toddler, you should get them Keens. (Do you remember my best baby advice? It was Netflix. I even updated my list of shows you should watch on there, because, when you have a baby you will be stuck in one position for hours, so make that position in front of a TV.)

My mood: dwelling on my mortality
Wyatt's mood: smells like sunscreen!!
Listening to: Jars of Clay

Saturday, August 10, 2013


   Did you know that we went to yellowstone?! You didn't!? Well let me tell you all about it!!

   When I say "let me tell you about it" what I mean is "here are some pictures and let's get out of here." I'm not going to share the park's wondrous history or any facts about wolves (of which I have many. I freaking love wolves. I hope to own one someday. I know no one can "own" a wolf because a) not for sale, and b) they are too dang proud and majestic, I just mean that I hope we mutually respect one another and can go on walks and watch Phineas and Ferb together.)
   No, I'll just show you our pictures and move on. I mean, there's some trees and some animals and some hot water and it smells like eggs, but you aren't coming here for a review of wildlife and ecosystems. You're coming here because you are one of my students and my students get extra credit for writing essays about my blog. Let's go!!

   We'll start with Wyatt's favorite place: The ... uh ... the hotel pool we stayed at on the drive ...

   He had lots of fun blowing bubbles, riding that floaty board like a surfboard, and splashing around. We won't show any videos, because daddy's belly is a bit too big.

   Now on to the good stuff!!

Yes yes yes we all know she's too pretty for me. Let's just move on.

You can thank Cara for all of these great photos. They look like they belong on the cover of a pamphlet. With the title "Mother's Milk Is Best Milk" or something.

   Pro tip: When you see your first buffalo - a mile away, all by itself, walking in a field - don't stop and take pictures of it. Don't get out your binoculars. Don't wonder if it'll come closer. You are going to see trillions of these things. There will be a herd that hangs out next to your car and blocks the street for 45 minutes. You're just going to look like an idiot and a rookie when you stop for a plain old buffalo by itself.
   On our first day we stared at one for like 15 minutes. By the 4th day we didn't even slow down unless they were running, and we mocked everyone who pulled over for anything less than a wolf.

The obligatory Old Faithful geyser picture

   We didn't see any wolves, moosen, or bighorn. Wolves are my favorite animal and I love them so that was sad for me. Have I told you about my love for wolves?! Yellowstone is great for seeing wild life and for smelling like eggs. It's one of the most unique geographical features in the world, and you can explore it all by car!! Perfect!!

My mood: feeling adventurous
Wyatt's mood: feeling entitled
Listening to: Sam Cooke

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Weird Family on the Block!!

Did you know that 108% of household accidents involve ladders?! And that 19% of those accidents don't involve pants?!

(After much deliberation, I chose to subtly and classily pencil out Wy's derriere extraordinaire -- because of, you know, jail. AND! I didn't even draw something funny or inappropriate!! AND don't worry!! He never even climbed on the "Do Not Climb On This Step" step, even though that's ridiculous because it's a step on a ladder OF COURSE WE ARE GOING TO CLIMB ON IT.)

   We have lots of great neighbors with great families. Kids that play outside together, shooting hoops or kicking soccer balls. It's a huge blessing. And being at the end of a cul-de-sac means we don't worry too much about traffic or noise. Sometimes the neighbors will even watch Wyatt while I frolic in the sprinklers work on a project, which is a total blessing.

This is one of the neighbor boys on our street. His name is... Doug? Jeff? Theodore? I think there's a Theodore on our street somewhere. Maybe it's the cat? What were we talking about?! Oh! Neighbor boys. They are, honestly, his favorite people in the world. They even put that chair out for him when he's over.

   All these wonderful things have a real negative result: we're the bad ones. We're the ones with the kid who is often without a diaper, never wearing pants or a shirt, often shoe-less, and walking around trying to talk to everyone. There's sort of a "there goes Wyatt again" mentality on our street. Like "There goes Wyatt, trying to grab that cat's tail again. I wonder where his parents are?" Or "There goes Wyatt, picking all of our blueberries, eating none of them, and only wearing one shoe. Why is it always the left shoe?!" Or, my favorite, "There goes Wyatt again, throwing rocks at that truck. Is his shirt tucked in to his diaper?! At least he has a diaper this time. Why does he have a wrench!?"

This kid will never be cool. Especially not when his friends read my blog in 15 years. BECAUSE IT WILL STILL BE AROUND THEN.

   I'm a good dad!! I like to leave Wyatt shoe-less to improve his balance and toughen him up. I like to leave him pants-less because I wish I could be pants-less more often. I like to leave him shirt-less because, well, um, I'm usually shirtless and don't want to be the only one. I let him roam and explore because I'm a good dad!!

Two binks, one booger. He'd hold one bink, see it, and take out the other to put it in. He did this like 4 times. All while I tried and failed to grab that boogie.

   Cara is actually a good mom. Wyatt's always dressed and in a clean diaper and not running around with scissors when she's home. She definitely doesn't let him climb up and down ladders all day. But how else is he going to learn about gravity?! And mistakes? And pain? Because that's all this world is: gravity, mistakes and pain.

See!! We're weird!! This was moments after I asked him "Do you know what cross-eyed means?!" He still doesn't know what "blanket" means.
My mood: toughening kids up, one toddler at a time
Wyatt's mood: freedom!!
Listening to: Curious George music