Monday, July 30, 2007
Yesterday Lori and Paul hosted. By my count there were 17 adults and 15 children. It was a great time. There were great conversations and updates regarding everyone’s lives and it was all interrupted by “Stop that.”, “No honey, you need to share.”, “Have you seen my kid?” and so forth.
Most of my friends read Poop and Boogies. Yesterday my friend Susan, we met when we were 14 years old, asked me “What do I need to do to make it on Poop and Boogies?”
I laughed and had some kind of smart-ass comment, but it was left at that. But her question got me to thinking: Why haven’t I posted more about my friends?
I guess the main reason is the fact that I was Orlando for the past two years and that I did not see them all that often. Another reason is I don’t want to offend anyone. Sure, my family is fair game when it comes to posting but I am not sure how my friends would take it. I have a history of putting my foot in my mouth and offending them face-to-face and I am not sure of what the implications would be if I offended them on the Internet.
I do want to say, I am very proud of the fact that they consider me their friend and that is something worth blogging about.
Oh, and Susan, another way to get mentioned, here, is to announce in a room full of people, “Tara, I just wanted let you know that my family really enjoyed playing Pass the Pickle with your family.”
I am not sure what that means but I found it funny.
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
I call the little bar “Favorites” because that is where all the regulars are listed in my web browser. It is filled with friends but more so with acquaintances. People I only know little tidbits about and whom I exchange casual dialog in the format of comments and posts.
All of those people are gathered at my corner bar. I like the corner bar. I enjoy the atmosphere. Everyone seems friendly and I enjoy the chitchat. Sure sometimes there are bad stories or sad stories, but for the most part the people that hang out at "Favorites" are my kind of people: Upbeat, funny and good story tellers.
On most days when you first walk in "Favorites" you are greeted with the sound of packed bar, various conversations and laughter bouncing off the walls. As you squint to adjust to the dim lighting you realize that it is not as crowded as you thought and that there is plenty of room to make yourself comfortable. There are a few people at the bar and many scattered at different tables and booths all enjoying the company of the rest of the patrons.
In the corner booth, nursing a Rye whisky, is Nilbo. He is entertaining a group of ladies of various ages. The all have smiles on their faces and he has a twinkle in his eye and it is hard to tell if he has been at the bar for a while or not.Two tables over is Susie, enjoying a glass of wine with her sisters. They are not really her sisters but as an outsider you couldn’t tell.
There is young couple, sipping beers, at the high top table in the middle of the room. They are chuckling to themselves about their workday. He is peeling the label off his beer bottle and putting the pieces on the table. She immediately cleans them up and drops them in the ashtray.
Over by the small stage, standing by the railing, leafing through the Karaoke book is Paige and Cat. They are laughing at the possibility of singing a duet. They can’t decide between Captain and Tennile or Kiki Dee and Elton John. Their husbands are sitting at a table next to them egging them on.
On a stool at the bar, sitting facing the room, drink in hand, is Bucky. She is sharing her stories with the bartender and the small group of ladies with her. There are two wet rings on the bar behind her where her last drinks rested. They seem like they are out for the night. If this is their first stop, god help the rest of the town.
OTJ and Steve are talking politics and parenting with Chris and Kami right near where the bar top curves towards the waitress station. MD just ordered a scotch and is about to join in on the conversation.
The booths that line the right side of the bar are some new comers. They either just found "Favorites" or were brought here by friends. They seem funny and like they are enjoying themselves and it appears they may make "Favorites" a regular hangout.
When I enter I try to get a feel for the room. Which table or spot should I stop by first? I can just swing by a few tables and say hello, but I decide to settle on my spot next to the Mega Touch Machine.
Tonight I may just people watch but I am in good company.
Any time Maxfield is upset, 99.9 % of the time, he wants his dad. I quickly jumped out of bed and went into his room to settle him down before he woke the entire house. He was not awake, but he was not asleep. He was at that weird in between state.
I crouched down next to him and tried to coax him back to sleep. Stroking his hair I soothingly said, "It's okay. Daddy is here Max. Shhhhhh. It's okay."
He wailed some more.
"Max?" I whispered, not wanting to wake him up completely if I did not need to, "Are you hurt?"
His eyes still closed he screamed, "I had a bad dream and someone tried to take my candy away."
"It was just a dream." I said. "It will be all right."
He sobbed. I felt so bad.
"I want (sniff) my (sniff) candy." He squeaked to the person in his dream. He was clearly upset.
I tired to comfort him some more. "Go to sleep. It was just a dream." I said. "No one is going to take your candy. We have plenty of can-"
I stopped talking.
Wait a minute. I thought to myself, Is he really asleep? Is he just playing me? Is he going to wake up and ask for candy right now because Daddy said we have plenty of candy? Is he going to use this later on in the day as a reason to get candy? Does a three year old know the difference between the dream world and reality? Am I being suckered? How am I supposed to comfort him about the candy and not tell him I am going to give him candy? He is crying because someone in his dream took candy and I need to calm him down and one of the ways to do that is to offer candy. But if I offer candy and he is awake, I am screwed, but if he is still asleep than offering candy would calm him down and I can go back to bed. I need more information. I should ask him who took his cand----
Maxfield wailed. It snapped me out of my own thoughts.
"Maxfield. It's okay. I'm here."
"I want my mommy." He screamed.
"I want my mommy."
"Mommy is asleep. I am here. It's okay."
Usually a few seconds from Dad is all it takes to calm down Max from a bad dream. I could not figure it out. I gently rubbed his belly and chest and continued to whisper reassurances. His breathing settled into a steady pace. He was drifting back to a deeper slumber.
"Max?" I said, barley audible. "Who took your candy?
He inhaled deeply, rolled slightly to his side to his favorable sleeping position, and on his exhale he said "Daddy." And he was asleep.
What? I was the bad guy in his dream? I thought. No wonder I could not calm him down. That is like looking for comfort from the Boogie Man. That is like Lawnwhisperer seeking comfort from a Dentist with a dog. Or Lauren cuddling up to a snake when she is scared. No, I could not have been the bad guy. Could I? I am usually the hero. But he did ask for his mom.
I can't believe it.
I was the villain.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Last night my mom was telling a story about how “a long time ago” she rode a train from Philly to Georgia to see my dad when he was in the army.
Max interrupted her and asked, “Did you see any dinosaurs?”
Age and a “long time ago” are all relative.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Thursday, July 19, 2007
As with most portrait places there were pictures of little kids in cute poses all over the place, a little girl with giant flower props, a little boy in an oversized wagon, a baby sleeping on bed of feathers etc. etc. There were family portraits, mom and dad and the three kids all wearing the same outfit, white shirts and denim (although the father's head was rather large). And then there was the picture of the Calvin Klein Model-esque fathers, with no shirts holding their baby (Kind of like this).
I pointed to one of the Calvin Klein type of photos of a man laying on his stomach, no shirt, super tan, and cut like a tri-athlete. On his back was a baby, Buddha like and all pale and pudgy and cute. I said to Lauren, “Do you remember when I looked like that?”
Without missing a beat she replied, “What, the chubby one on top?”
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
“I think it is because he is walking now.” I said. “It just keeps getting rubbed raw.”
“The creams always seem to work before.” Lauren said. “I don’t why the rash is so bad.”
My mom chimed in. “It could be anything. Did you change his milk? Or maybe his diet? It could be his teeth.”
“I don’t think he could get his teeth down there.” I said. “And if he could I would be really impressed.”
Friday, July 13, 2007
Thursday, July 12, 2007
“They don’t fit right anymore. I think maybe it is my parent’s washer and dryer that are shrinking them.”
“You have had those shirts for years. I don’t think it has anything to do with their washer and dryer. I am thinking maybe something else is making them feel smaller.”
I think she is insinuating that I am getting taller.
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Sometimes I reach the door just a few paces ahead of those people, not a big enough gap where I can just walk right in and let them worry about opening the door themselves, but a small gap where I feel bad and then I am stuck holding the door for them and I have to, by default that I am somewhat polite, let them enter ahead of me.
It is those times, where I want to tell those people that I was the actual winner of my secret race and that they should let me ahead of them in line.
You know what I am talking about...right?
Monday, July 09, 2007
There were other details in the dream that I shared with Lauren the next morning and I asked her to help me figure out if the 300 dollars a day was accurate. I wanted to find out if my subconscious was smart enough to add the interest correctly. I wanted to check to see if my brain, while asleep, actually did the math the right way.
We sat on the couch, sipping coffee trying to add numbers in my head. I would multiply the numbers then do some division and tell Lauren and then she would correct me saying something about interest being compounded annually or something. I would try again but then my math would be off. I would try again and I would forget to carry the one.
It turns out I am smarter when I am asleep.
Friday, July 06, 2007
“Okay. Hurry down.” I called back up to him.
Instead of taking the easy way down, the slide, he turned back towards the rock wall and climbed down. Half way down he started the “jig”. Most parents know the “jig”. I reached up and lifted him off the wall and I carried him to the bathroom about 30 yards away.
Bathrooms at public playgrounds are always interesting. They are rarely cleaned nor kept up. As we entered the cinderblock and concrete floored facility I could tell it was well used that day. Both urinals were too tall for Max to use so we went to one of the stalls in the back of the restroom.
“I have to pee too.” I said as Max finished. I pulled up his pants and I opened the stall door. “Go wash your hands.”
I angled myself in the tiny stall so I could keep an eye on Max. He walked past the urinals and headed over the sink and I could hear him hit the push top faucet.
“I need soap.” He said.
“I’ll be right there.” I said as I continued to go. I knew the soap dispenser was too high for him to reach. Out of the corner of my eye I could see him walk back towards me.
“I got some.” He said.
“That’s weird.” I thought to myself. “How did he reach the soap?”
I zipped up and flushed the toilet. I walked over the sink and there was Max holding the pink urinal block sanitizer that he took from one of the urinals. He was rubbing it on his hands.