Thursday, May 4, 2006


What would GrandDad do?
I often think that in day-to-day parenting. Like I said before, with GrandDad everyday is a field day, every meal is a banquet. Time and money are of no essence. When I was in the fourth grade, I had a science project to make an electrical current in a shoebox. The direction we got from Ms. Ivins: a light and a switch in an open shoebox. We instead (and I use that term loosely) decided to build a church complete with stain glass windows to show off the light bulb. When I found out the direction for show-and-tell this week was to bring in fruit, I knew exactly how GrandDad would approach it. He would take Hayden downtown to Farmers Market and spend half the day sampling every fruit in site, then purchase a watermelon for every kid in class. He would spend the second half of the day making fresh squeezed orange juice. He would probably let Hayden drive there and parallel park as well, but that is beside the point. I pondered that idea…for about two seconds, and then contemplated how I could adapt it to fit my time schedule on a Thursday night. Then I came up with a perfect idea at lunch….marciano cherries. Sure it wasn’t a field trip, and it wasn’t the healthiest fruit, but his friends would love him for it. When I mentioned this idea to Jeff, he said “absolutely not”….and not in one of the it-is-still-up-for-discussion kind of tones. He said those are just candy, and we might as well bring M&M’s. C’mon, it’s no secret Hayden isn’t the healthiest eater in the class. He’s the same kid that waltzes in with chocolate doughnuts 3 out of 5 days a week and literally introduced the rest of the class to the new chocolate lucky charms describing them as “magically delicious”. It amuses me that we (I) put so much thought and discussion into show and tell every week. I have an explanation of why. In life success is achieved by acting smart. Let’s be honest, Matt has mastered it. You don’t have to actually be smart, you just have to look smart when people are paying attention. Wake up Hayden….people pay attention on Show-and-Tell Day. Sure, I don’t know where Montreal is, or that Opie doesn’t go to our church, or the fact that it’s a manilla folder and not vanilla folder, but the senior management think I’m a genius. Why? Because I occasionally throw out a smart sounding comment and have perfected avoiding eye contact when I don’t have a clue. If I can teach that at age 2, he’ll sail through school. So tomorrow on the ride to school, after practicing the raspberry show-and-tell (what we compromised on), I will tell Hayden to nod and smile when Boring Kid is showing off his apple….and not to shout “What’s That?”

Other than discussing show-and-tell, I also ran 1.4 miles in 20.41 minutes during lunch. … no means “as fast as Dash”. By the time I got home, Jeff had already run his three miles, and was feeding his hollow leg with cereal. I was moping around complaining that I hate running when Jeff, in what he calls an effort to “motivate” me, says, “Would you rather go running, or would you rather….”. He pauses and I beg him not to finish the sentence. I was never any good at adlibs, but I can only assume the next word was “fat” or some synonym of it. That’s all it took. I ran the stinkin’ 1.4 miles, and I think swallowed a mosquito along the way. Then at 5:00 I get a phone call from that same “motivator” about going to Chipotle tonight.

When I got back to my desk, the little red light on my phone was shining bright (never a good sign). It was a message from Bright Horizons (also not a good sign). They had taken Davis’ temperature and it was 100.6. Then they added 1 degree to that because it was taken in his armpit, and 1 degree because he is under the age of 2, and 1 degree because they are only one kid away from being under-ratio (allowing one teacher to leave early), and it was an alarming 103.6. Not really, but they did add 1 because it was taken under the arm. Which leads me to the commercial...
Escape from the healthy crowd by joining the Lyle Sickness of the Week Club. Avoid the health nuts and vitamin pushers and escape to a different sickness every week filled with snotty noses, everlasting coughs, and random polka dotted rashes. This week’s illness: Ear Infection. Join Now! After hearing the message, I went downstairs and picked both of the boys up and headed off to the doctors office. There wasn’t much of a wait befor we were called back, but I was counting my blessing too soon. Do you know how entertaining it is to spend an hour with two kids in a room the size of a walk-in closet? Ever heard of the phrase “bull in a china closet?” You know that paper they use to cover the medical table? Let’s just say, I think we more than made up for the cost of the co-pay with the amount of paper we wasted. After about 45 minutes, the medical table had turned into a kareoke machine. In an effort to try to make Davis feel better, Hayden was making up silly songs.
“When you cry, Mommy will get you
When you cry, Mommy will get you
When you cry, Mommy will get you
When you cry, Mommy will make you macaroni and cheese”
It had no tune, but what do you expect, he’s my child. By this time, I was no longer worried about the noise level or messing up the room. I was cracking up. When I asked him to sing it again, he said “Not right now Mommy, maybe next week.” Hilarious. I was wishing I had my camera.

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