Thursday, January 31, 2013

Bed Bug

I say to J. Bean this morning, "What was your favorite part of vacation?"

She replied, "I liked the bunk bed!" (at the cheap motel).

Me: "Well, when you outgrow this 1 maybe we can look at bunk beds for you."

JB: "Or we can go back to the hotel and live there forever"

She obviously has not put two and two together with the "stomach bug" and the all-you-can-eat buffet and has no problem with a general state of uncleanliness. Note to self: clean less.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Hands Off!

Allow me to paint a picture for you. Play area in an airport. Most everything is padded, a brother sister pair are committing felony assault on each other all over the play area, but don't appear to be threatening the safety of most innocent bystanders. Their Mom is facebooking on her phone (as I am now, but we are on the plane and VV is wrangling the wee ones for now). VV asks the children politely a few times to watch out for the much younger, Link, who is still crawling as their no holds barred cage match continues. The Mom doesn't look up, doesn't remind her kids to watch out for little ones or to stop beating on each other in general. We are collecting our kids to head to our gate and I see the boy grab his sister around the neck and prepare for a second level head twisting pile driver from the top of a small slide. I  touched his shoe to get his attention, told them both "guys, be careful, there is no pushing and kicking allowed in the play area."

The Mom jumps up with no question about what is going on and lays in to me as if a physical altercation is about to go down because I touched her son. "Sorry about that," I said "but your son appeared to be about to seriously injure your daughter."

She didn't care, ranting and raving continued. Thankfully, they quickly left the area, but not without a comment about "some strange man isn't going to touch my kids" and how I should eff off basically. I told her I would always intervene when a child's safety is in danger and that if she felt so strongly about it, she should try supervising her children. Thoughts? What would you do? How would you handle the situation?

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Such an Old Sweet Song...

It is 80 degrees today, I don't think I'll go home again. In Chicago (had we been home yesterday) J Bean, Link and I would have huddled inside, wishing for a moment of sunshine through the windows while watching about 8 episodes of Little Einsteins to break up the monotony between Link's tantrums. Here in Georgia we instead rode a golf cart all over creation (Link smiled ear to ear and cooed with pleasure most of the time), collected moss, small plants and dirt for a terrarium which we assembled in the afternoon warmth. We caught a cricket and made plans to capture a rain frog to put in our tiny habitat. While Link slept, J Bean and I rode the cart around at break-neck speeds while launching spray bottle attacks against shrubs, mailboxes, and the death star (the rental van). J Bean says of Georgia, "Its very quiet here", I guess I'll have to introduce her to the cacophony of singing frogs, crickets and cicadas (if it gets hot enough). There may be less traffic and sirens, but there are plenty of noises here where the wild things are. What else should we get in to today? I'm not sure, but I'm thinking a look at the night sky and visible stars would be a great idea for my little city girl this evening.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

When Toys Get Hurt...

Sorry for the repost. Deleted this one by accident this morning.

A new recurring series. This little Teddy forgot to eat it's Wheaties.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Tale of Two Cities

VV says she feasted on some excellent duck at an historic restaurant in Beijing last night, but was surprised to find the women's restroom consisted of five holes in the floor and not so much as a privacy curtain. Oh, to be a fly on the wall! Meanwhile, my accommodations in south Georgia has running water and four working radio stations, but no wifi (grrrr), no Homerun Inn pizza nor Intelligentsia coffee (oh the horror!) I also noted twenty varieties of grits and only three types of organic baby food at the grocery store. Link and J Bean have thoroughly enjoyed "roughing it" for the past few days, we can see trees from the house so they believe we are on safari and the warm weather is a welcome respite from Chicago's gray winter. Missing VV terribly, only about 175 more diaper changes before she rejoins us! Relaxation for me has included thirty minutes of reading my book and one shower. Woohoo!

Monday, January 7, 2013

King of the Road: 5 Things You Won't Need for that Holiday Travel.

Well, most of what I needed to do is out of the way and I have saved just enough packing and preparing to be sure I have a frantic, stressful morning putting on the final touches for our departure. I’ve done well. I’d say even with a few unscheduled tantrums from J Bean and a couple of epic blowouts from Link tomorrow, we should make our flight, but I’ll never underestimate these little  terrorists lovely children. Since I have all this perceived time (which will soon evaporate leaving me winded, wild eyed and on the verge of a panic attack), I thought I would put together a list of extended vacation needs, dos and don’ts to help myself next time and maybe even help some future insane intrepid traveler. The rest of you can laugh at my expense.

Things I won't need on vacation but will bring anyway:
  • 7 pairs of clean underwear. I’ll be gone 3 weeks, but given my usual rate of changing in to clean underwear and a shower, this is delusional thinking 3 pairs would be more than enough.  Oh well, at least I won’t have to do laundry until I get home (sarcasm… my kids will keep me in the laundry business every other day even if I wear the same outfit for a month). 
  • Half a dozen condoms (we’re both fixed, but we’re not taking any chances! There can be no more… No Mas!) If I have to explain to you why these prophylactics will remain in factory condition, then you either have no children or have not yet traveled with them.
  • Shorts and a bathing suit. Sure the weather report for our destination has been sunny and clear in the seventies and eighties for months and the forecast shows more of the same, but trust me when I get there it will suddenly become the coldest winter on record or it will rain nonstop. I’m not being negative, I’m an optimist. In fact, I’m positive there will not be a post season hurricane or a volcanic eruption during the trip. See the glass is always half full. 
  • Arts and crafts for the plane trip, because that would be an educational and wholesome way to pass the time on the plane ride for J Bean. I'll give up on that by the time we hit cruising altitude and pull out the portable DVD player. “Here listen to this while I wrestle with your screaming, squirming brother. Keep your eyes on the screen, I don’t want you to see Daddy giving the bird to people that are giving me the stink eye from a few seats over."
  • The novel I've been reading for the past 18 months. I should get another 10 pages out of the way during restroom breaks, which begs the question… why am I lugging around an 8 pound hardback? I have had a Kindle before VV requisitioned it for commutes and international jet setting.

Things I'll bring that I wish I didn't have to:
  • Baby monitors… just leave me alone, can’t you sleep?!
  • Baby food. Link, why can't you just drink formula until you're old enough to catch and prepare your own food? I hate that stuff and how you pepper me with it by sneezing after every other bite.
  • Stain stick and extra clothes for myself in the diaper bag (not the checked baggage). You don't want shit on you in the airplane without backup clothes. Trust me, I’ve been there. Parents always carry plenty of clothes for the little ones, but if there is a blowout and you get it on you there is no way you are going to fit into one of those onesies.

Things I wish I could bring but just won't fit in the suitcase:
  • Diaper Genie. Without it, I have to deal with these toxic crap catchers by hand and individually. Tip: An air sick bag works fine in a pinch and if you put it in the seat pocket and “accidentally forget it", then the flight attendant who made you turn off Dora during the backpack song for landing and scolded you for dropping snacks all over the floor can deal with it. 
  • J bean’s bed. She is sure to revolt against wherever she has to sleep and will probably end up in my bed which puts a finer point on how unnecessary the Trojans will be.
  • My own bed, when you need your sleep the most you'll be sleeping on some lumpy hotel bed. 
  • A gallon of vodka. Self explanatory. 
  • Fences and barriers. At home the whole place is "child proof", one the road, I'll be like a hockey goalie trying to keep Link out of everything wherever we stay. "Oh, yes, thanks for the hospitality it was great to stay with you and my son really enjoyed your knife collection. I'm sure he'll be alright after a brief E.R. visit. Thanks again!"
  • Wipe warmer. Yes and don’t judge me, because every time I touch my son's butt with a cold wipe he is probably going to pee on my face. Yes, I’ll forget to cover his tiny super soaker, because the warm wipes really do cut back on this phenomenon and I don’t have to worry about it as much at home. Note to self: be sure not to forget those extra parent clothes for the diaper bag.

Things I hope I won't forget:        
  • The kids.
  • Parts to sippy cups and bottles. Nothing like having everything you need but a ring or a straw, or having the wrong size.
  • My daughter's favorite bedtime lovey, “sheep”. I don't want to explain through her sobs every night that sheep is okay and how he went on vacation to see her family, or stayed behind to keep the other toys company. In fact, I’m sneaking in to her room right now and packing that little S.O.B. 

Things my wife wishes I would forget:

  • Every V-neck Tee I own. Yeah right, Babe. I’m on vacation, I’m going to be just as comfortable and out of fashion as I normally am at home. I’ll explain why as soon as I am covered with a few kid fluids.
  • My cell phone. Along with my access to Facebook, Blogger and Chess. 
  • My penchant for griping.
  • My camera and the need to document every waking moment. 

Things I'll bring and hope I don't need:
  •      Snot sucker.
  •      Butt paste.
  •      Baby Orajel.
  •      Cyanide capsule.
  •      Barney video.
  •      First aid kit.

Fingers crossed, wish me luck. It’s T minus 15 hours until we are out the door!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Beast of Burden

Procrastination in packing for my travel upcoming travel will have reached epic proportions by morning. If you see me online tomorrow, tell me to put the phone/laptop down and get back to packing! It is not as if there has been zero progress.  I did make a list, a long list. Now I should probably start checking things off of it. Oh well, I work better under pressure... right?

I did get one thing done; I bought an extra suitcase. You know, because hauling around just one ginormous suitcase in addition to the backpack/diaper bag, two car seats, a stroller, a satchel (the one my daughter will tire of carrying about 30 seconds after entering the airport), a stroller, 10mo old Link, 4yr old J Bean, and my own lard butt just isn't enough to make navigation from the house to the car and from the car to the ticket counter sufficiently challenging. Perhaps I can lash the two wheeled suitcases together with the stroller and fashion some sort of baggage car out of them and toss the kids on top?

"J Bean, hold your brother tight, I'm going to push from the back!"

Friday, January 4, 2013

16 days in the Hole.

VV is out of country for work for the next 16+ days. I calculated it at 402 hours, 24128 minutes, or 1930240 heartbeats. Another way of looking at this is 80 bottles of formula, 128 diapers (conservative estimate), and 1.75 gazillion cries (and that's not even counting the baby). I predict approximately 34 cocktails give or take a few dozen.

Did I mention, I'll be traveling via air with Thing 1 & 2 across country to visit family during much of that time? Afterwards, we'll meet back up with my co-chief (VV) and we'll get to "relax" on a Disney vacation. Basically, just a warning. Posts for the next 3 weeks will be sporadic, peppered with neurosis/profanity, and undoubtedly the occasional heart melting moment.

Updated: Before I start 2+ weeks of pissing and moaning, I just want to say I realize single parents do this day in and day out. Hats off to those who do it all the time. I'm sure I'm as clueless to the trials of raising children alone as a working parent is to the reality of being a full-time caretaker. We all have privilege of some sort and find it hard imagine another's trials, but I do realize with a wife (with a great job), two (healthy) kids, two cats that only puke on the floor occasionally and a fantastic support network I have it better than most. With that said, I'll still be bitching. A lot.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Generic Out of Place Welcome I can point FaceBook fans to

Good evening, Parenting Partners! Glad to see all these new faces, it's been a big 10 days for DOTR and I haven't done this in several months... so I thought I'd throw out a little background on the poop you just stepped in. I am married to Vv, my outstanding and lovely wife, who brings home the bacon (mmm... bacon) and I'm a stay home Dad of two (Link, 1yo & J Bean 4yo), 2 cats (one of which may actually be a cow), and a fish (John The Revelator, who was just installed a few weeks ago and has already outlived 3 of his 5 predecessors). We talk a lot, scratch that joke a lot, about parenting here. While politically informed, I'm sometimes politically incorrect. I curse, a lot or a little depending on the day, I do this mainly because I put on a Mr. Rogers persona for my children and sometimes I just need to drop an F-bomb or four with consenting adults. Is that fucking OK with you? Great.   ;-)  No disrespect. 

In other words, its not all posters you've seen on 10 other pages, cat pictures and SomeEcards (my originals are StayHomeDad-E-Cards... see what I did there?) here but I'm certainly not too good to share some of them on occasion. I try to make my own content as often as I can, most is a failed attempt at humor but I do get serious once in a while too. I will mix in some funny stuff from all the awesome Mom/Dad Bloggers I follow on occasion; however, page shares are rare and "share for shares" are despised. I'll share with you what I find fantastic or great and write for you the best I can (usually neither fantastic or great). There are also plenty of pics of my kids... sorry just part of having a SAHD as a friend. Anyway... Welcome! Have fun, speak up, disagree, make the rest of us laugh all you want, but do be respectful of each other please. 

On the off-chance I'm your first stay home Dad friend, here is our anthem. Actually, I can't speak for the rest of those guys, so I guess this is just my anthem. (Other relevant links if you want to be in on some of the "inside" jokes here can be found in the link to my blog in the comments.d 

Oh, and I almost forgot! Occasionally, meerkats take over my page and blog in my place. We never know when this may happen, so we have Meerkat Mondays in order to stave off their hijackings.