Monday, December 27, 2010

Oh Baby!

There are few things in life that set off an emotional response. Smells for instance. They can bring back memories of family gatherings, experiences, times in your life when your senses were so heightened that you noticed every detail about that second in time. That's amazing, I think that we can take the information that our senses offer us and it can create such an elated feeling. There are some smells that just get you more than others: cookies or bread baking in the oven, the pine of a Christmas tree, a turkey roasting in the oven on Thanksgiving Day. There are some smells that remind us of bad times as well. I still can't smell SoCo without wanting to retch after partaking in it a little too much while in college on an infamous New Year's Eve. After buying the Swagger Wagon earlier this year I thought that nothing could top "New Car Smell" even though I know it is mostly because of all the plastics in the manufacturing of the car. But here's the thing...nothing beats the smell of a new baby. Maybe it's the heightened emotion that you are feeling when you finally get to see them or the anticipation of the person they will become but when you couple that with the sweet smell of them, it just can't be matched. I wish they could bottle this stuff but they can't, I looked. They have plenty of new car air fresheners, pine, even Drakkar Noir but they just can't reproduce that fresh baby scent. If you don't know already I am on this new baby kick because of our new addition, Heidi Elizabeth. It's been awhile since we've had an infant and there is no way to describe how it feels until you have one. So, I will enjoy the new baby smell and look forward to the new year with plenty of opportunities to blog about being a stay at home dad with three kids. George Lucas would be proud, I finished my Trilogy!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Princess Pack Rat

My daughter is a pack rat, literally. Have you ever seen the nest of a pack rat? These little creatures find interesting things to bring back to their nesting area. When they do find something that interests them, if somewhere along the way they find something better, they will trade one object for the other one.

The pack rat and my daughter also have another commonality, they both love shiny objects. My son used to do this too. He would find things that interested him and he would put them inside something. Sometimes it was an envelope but most often it was a bag. He did this so much that my wife and I bought a little canvas bag and glitter painted his name on it so he could carry his things in it. Yes, I am admitting that my son carried a murse. In his defense, he carried his Bob the Builder hammer and screwdriver in it, so at least there is that. Eventually he grew out of it and like any man’s coat including my own, I will find interesting things in his pockets.

My daughter on the other hand finds any bag she can fit stuff inside and fill it with crazy things. Here are the contents of one I found earlier: a pair of her socks, a beaded necklace, Strawberry Shortcake figure, a used up sticker, a rock, Chapstick, and a crayon. Let’s face it, she is just pre-programmed to be a gatherer. It’s not like I walk around with bags and fill it with things. She just has this obsession with building a mini collection in a bag. And then it dawned on me, she is preparing herself for later in life when she will carry a purse! I am old enough to know that a woman’s purse is a sacred place. My first experiences with the depth (literally) of a woman’s purse were with my grandmother’s pocketbook as she called it and my own mom’s purse. Sometimes these things were humongous and I wondered how anyone could find anything inside these giant collection bags. Sometimes the most dreaded question was “Honey, could you get (blank) out of my purse?”

Of course we could never find it and when we brought the purse to them, they would procure said item in a wink shake their heads saying “How could you not see that, it was right there?” First, it is because you ladies are good at cataloguing things and secondly, we just don't see things. I bet right now you could mentally imagine what your purse looks like inside and know where you usually put your lipstick, cell phone, or wallet. I can barely remember what I had for lunch.

When I taught high school some teenage boys tried messing with a girl's purse. They literally almost lost their hands like a thief in Agrabah. It is AMAZING the things they carry. Carrying a bag for a man is like writing a check anywhere. It’s just not manly. Sure bags have tried to cross over to men. The fanny pack is a reminder of that but bags for dudes are just not cool. I will be the first to admit that my winter coat and any coat I own has more pockets than months on a calendar. In fact, I won't buy a coat unless it has a ridiculous number of pockets.

Guys don't have anywhere to put their stuff and if we had stuff we wouldn't want to carry it with us anyway unless it was concealed by hidden pockets. Cargo shorts are a definite staple of a Stay At Home Dad. Covert pockets can carry stuff and as a stay at home dad I am required to carry stuff. Not only that but hidden pockets help us pretend we are spies as cool as 007 and Get Smart.

As for my daughter, she continues to collect things and deposit them inside other things. It is amazing how far this obsession has gone. She received a Disney Princess pop up play tent for her third birthday this year which was awesome. The scary thing is that the inside looks like an episode of Hoarders but only if there was a kid version of that show. Going in the Princess tent means you could be buried alive by tiaras, Barbies, and play food. So for now, I have to pretend I am Neicy Nash and every couple of weeks need to Clean House. The next time I lose my keys I know where I am looking first; the princess tent is the number one suspect and my own coat is number two.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Gettin' Jiggy

My wife is right. I would be remiss to say that she isn't always right. I have had my moments but in this case she is 100 percent on target. The NFL needs to take away penalties for excessive celebration. Today's sports hinge on entertainment. The NFL is doing better job protecting players from getting concussions from big hits yet they are doing these athletes a disservice by limiting their need to celebrate the big play. I T.O. and Ochocinco sit around bouncing celebration ideas off one another? Could there be a reality show just about touchdown celebrations? I'm sorry, your Dirty Bird just didn't score with us...hit the shower! I think it takes real creativity to come up with this stuff. T.O.'s Sharpie marker, the invisible mooning, pretending the football is a baby...those are all genius! May I even go so far as to say that this celebration thing should be taught in public school? I would love to go to my son's parent-teacher conference, find out he is doing well and perform the Ickey Shuffle. Think of all those moments where a celebratory dance could come in handy: Your kid just learned to use the potty for the first time so do the Moonwalk. Your baby just slept through the night so it is time to do the Worm. Your daughter just took her first steps...time to get jiggy wit it! It just makes sense. We have reasons to celebrate. Athletes have reasons to celebrate. Let's make the NFL fun again and make our lives a little more fun. So when my son gets straight A’s and you see a really tall guy doing the Lawnmower or the Sprinkler, just go with it and bring your Cabbage Patch moves with you.