Wednesday, August 23, 2006

School of Rude Awakenings

As far as potty training is concerned, out little 2-year-old is making great strides. She can wear "big girl" underwear all day go accident-free. Bed-time, however, is another story...

When it's time for bed, my wife and I put Sophia back in a pull-up...just in case. It's clear to me now that this practice will soon have to stop. You see, we've run up against "The Rude Awakening".

2-year-olds wake up pretty early as it is. Nothing, though, beats hearing my daughter call my name in the baby monitor at 5:45am, poking my head into her bedroom, and hearing her proudly exclaim "I pooped!"

There are few things that I want to do at 5:45am. Walking, talking, showering, exercising...not on my list. By the way, these people that love to talk about how they wake up every day at 5am, walk 10 miles, ride a bike 15 miles, carry a boulder on their back for another 10 miles, then go to the gym really piss me off. I don't even like walking to the shower first thing in the morning, let alone doing a Richard Simmons impersonation. If anyone that perky comes up to me first thing in the morning and starts talking to me, they better duck.

Anyway, the LAST thing I want to see at 5:45am is a stinky diaper. There is something special about these morning poops, too. You see, they have had almost 10 hours to prepare for their release into the free world. It's almost as if they WANT to see you work to clean them up.

I really don't know how my wife manages to use just 1 baby wipe. I seem to get a wipe, wipe, throw away, get a wipe, wipe, throw away, get a wipe, wipe, throw away. Then again, I never understood the handkerchief either. That's a fun invention. Some guy says, "Hey, you know what would be great? We could carry a piece of cloth around with us that we can blow our noses in. Then we can put the snot-rag back in our pockets for later." Great one.

So, I think we will have to try underwear at bedtime. I think it will help her resist the urge. Otherwise, we're using a cork.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Holy Antique Chairs, Batman

As I was sitting at the computer a few nights ago, my 2-year-old daughter was doodling on a sheet of looseleaf paper with a pencil. What better way to stimulate her little mind, I thought. Maybe she will be the next Picasso, Shakespeare, or Erma Bombeck...

I had given my wife a "free pass" to go out and meet her parents to go shopping, since they were in town from Florida. "What the heck?"...I figured. Nothing ever goes wrong on Daddy's watch, right?

I heard a tapping sound coming from the next room so I asked my daughter what she was doing.

"Making holes in the paper", she said casually.

Ah, perhaps a nice connect-the-dots puzzle, I told myself. After about 20 minutes of this, I decided to check on her progress.

To my amazement, my daughter had indeed been making holes in the sheet of paper. This would have been a very cute activity had she not been doing so on top of my wife's grandparents' antique leather chair, which now also had about two dozen or so holes punched through its seat cushion.

My first reaction was very 'Incredible Hulk'-like. I could feel my shirt ripping right where my love handles were poking through the sides. Then I had a flashback to one Christmas when, as a little boy, my father let ME put the 'tree-topper' on our family Christmas tree. This topper was an antique, glass ornament that had belonged to my grandmother. Having been given this honorable task, I was lifted up by my father, and I proceeded to drop the thing about 6 feet down onto our living room floor where it shattered into a million pieces.

My father's reaction was very calm. Sort of a "that's ok, big deal" thing which totally shocked me. He later told me that he was pretty torn up about it but he didn't want me to feel bad so he let it go.

I, therefore, looked at my daughter, took her by the hand and said,

"Come on, let's go draw on the kitchen table, not on Mommy's favorite chair."

Later that evening, after the kids were in bed and my wife came home, I had the pleasure of telling her what had happened on my shift. I guess her dad never let her put an ornament on top of their tree.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Need a Hero

Every so often, we SuperDads have to acknowledge our limitations. For instance, the other night my wife had gone shopping and my step-daughter asked me a question that sent a shiver up my spine...

"Daddy...can you help me?", she asked.

"With what?", SuperDad replied, not wanting to get roped into another discussion about why I could NOT fetch the remote control for her. After all, if you want the privilege of changing the channel without getting up, you have to EARN it, I say. Get up and get the remote yourself.

"I need help with my hair", my step-daughter replied.

At this point, I became greatly aware of how loudly the crickets chirp outside of our bedroom window at this time of year.

I felt as though we were standing in the middle of Target and my step-daughter had just asked me to help her pick a training bra size. Clearly, I was out of my league.

"What exactly do you need me to do?", SuperDad replied. This was actually a stall.

"I can't get my pony-tail out.", she replied.

A pony-tail? This sounds like some sort of "knot" issue. We SuperDads know all about knots, don't we? I began running through the permutations in my head.

Maybe she just needs me to un-tie a knot. Maybe she just needs me to un-do a clip. This might not be so bad. SuperDad can handle this.

"Show me how Mommy usually does it.", came my witty reply. At this point, I was hoping for some sort of 'Tom-Sawyer-and-Huck-Finn-painting-the-fence' miracle and that she would just finish the job herself.

She reached up to grab her pony-tail when I suddenly heard a beautiful sound. It was a whirring, mechanical sound that could only be...the garage door!

SuperMom was home! My hero!