I have heard the call.
The demands will soon begin.
Crap. The kids are up.
I detect a smell.
The power is beyond me.
Someone has poopies.
A storm has fallen.
Her rage is great and brutal.
We’re out of yogurt.
You are my sweet child.
I love to make your smile grow.
Sure. I’ll sniff your feet.
Today my one-year-old crawled out of her pants.
I should mention that they are a bit too big for her. I also didn’t actually watch her do it. All I know is that one minute, Zoe was on one side of the playroom wearing her pants. The next thing I know, she had crawled to the other side and her pants didn’t go with her.
Should I take this as some kind of sign? Are the pants of life I’m trying to wear too large? I feel like I make a pretty strong effort everyday. I try to be a good husband and a good daddy. I make an effort to be a good friend. I go to my job and I work like I’m supposed to. Is that enough?
I do all these things while trying to be true to myself. Like everyone, I have bad days and there is nothing I can do about them. It’s just reality. As I’ve said before, I also deal with depression and that can make the bad days a lot worse. But I acknowledge those feelings for what they are, I take my medication, and I do the best I can. Really, it’s all just another stitch in the pants I’m wearing. But is that enough?
Has my baby become some kind of infant Nostradamus? Will she and her sister be doomed to watch their father trip and fall because he couldn’t keep his pants of life up? And will I end up crawling towards failure, leaving behind pants I never should have put on in the first place? Is there no existential belt that can save me?
Of course it’s entirely possible, as well as much more likely, that Zoe is just too little right now for the pants she has on. Big pants on a little baby will ultimately not stay up.
Maybe I just need to get out more. Maybe I’m just using this moment as an excuse to talk about pants for no real reason. Yeah, that’s probably it.
I have two little girls. Phoebe and Zoe are pretty much the primary focus of my life. I also have Pepper, the neurotic, Prozac-taking, not super bright cat. My wife and I got her during our first year of marriage. She is 7 years old now and, with a few exceptions, is pretty much terrified of anyone that isn’t one of her human parents/servants. This includes the children. I am firmly convinced that Pepper thinks they want to eat her.
In defense of my children, Pepper is a little bitch even with the level of stupid she possesses. I kind of see her as the cat equivalent of Amanda Seyfried’s character in “Mean Girls.” I feel bad that she doesn’t want much to do with the girls. In defense of my cat, Phoebe and Zoe are loud and make lots of sudden movements. Not the favorites things of any cat I’ve ever met. Also, the times Pepper allows herself to be pet do not often end in her favor. A tail or some fur gets pulled and she is back to fleeing in terror. She’ll be in the same room as Phoebe and Zoe but that is about as far as it often goes.
It’s a shame, really, since they all have so much in common. In fact, I’m constantly seeing similar behavior patterns in the cat and the children.
All three, cat and girls, constantly demand food.
All three seem to be compelled to have random things end up on the floor.
You can give any of them toys, but they will probably be more excited about the box it came in.
They all seem to share the need to suddenly be in the next room for no reason. Zoe still only crawls, but she feeds this need as well as Pepper or Phoebe.
None of them have any problem with daddy cleaning up their poop.
I’m starting to think this is some kind of elaborate plan. But whose plan could it be? Is my wife secretly training them to be some kind of cute little spy squad? Is Pepper smarter than she lets on? Or am I just sleepy and seeing things that aren’t there? Eh, it’s probably all three.
My youngest daughter, Zoe, is just over a year old. She basically has two settings. The first is a sweet little thing who wants to get into increasingly more mischief. I think it just comes with the crawling and trying to walk. The second is this a very upset little doodle monster, inconsolable and acting as if the world is ganging up to torture her. I think they mentioned something like this in Revelations.
The other day she was having dinner and suddenly slipped into mode two. There was no apparent reason for this. My guess is that her mouth was hurting since more teeth are coming in. While this is happening, her sister Phoebe is at the other end of the table with her fingers in her ears. She hates it when Zoe starts fussing.
I pick Zoe up from her little seat and try rocking her. That doesn’t help, so I start to sing. I like to sing and most of the singing I do these days is in one of two scenarios: either in my car or to my daughters. I have been told I have a good voice. In my opinion, it’s not anything spectacular but I more than hold my own. No one will ever mistake me for an opera singer, but if I can do the musical theatre thing and I’m pretty comfortable with rock songs. So what do I sing to my daughter? While I can do a solid version of some Alice in Chains and some Warren Zevon, they usually aren’t my go-to with the kids.
That tends to be Muppets. More often than not, it’s Sesame Street. The one that I do the most is the Ernie classic, “I Don’t Want to Live on the Moon.”
So I sing to Zoe. She starts to quiet down and stares at me as I sing. I look up and because Phoebe has left the table and followed us into the other room. Now I am trying to sing to Zoe while not laughing because of my older daughter. Phoebe has now begun to enjoy my singing by doing her own interpretive dance routine.
I want to crack up. I keep singing instead. Not only because Zoe is calm but because Phoebe is just having way too much fun. I finish singing and get applause from the baby and a “Nice singing, Daddy” from Phoebe.
I really hope one or both of my girls sings when they get older. Mostly because I want to be able to perform my own interpretive dance.
Once, in a time long forgotten, I would set my alarm clock every night. I like to make sure that I have enough time in the morning to get certain things done. I need to shower, get dressed, maybe eat something, maybe shave, maybe use the computer, and almost definitely poop. I should probably point out that the last one there can be time consuming.
These days I find myself almost never using the alarm. I have unwillingly transcended to another level of being woken up. This is the doing of three individuals whom I will list here:
Zoe – The ten-month-old. The most frequent culprit. She is beautiful and sweet one moment, then suddenly a human air raid siren. This happens throughout the day but is most jarring at 5 am. Currently, she sits next to me and her mommy shoving Cheerios into her mouth and is very excited about it.
Phoebe – The three-year-old. She is what happens when a Disney princess meets Godzilla. Phoebe is almost always up with the sun. She will then begin talking to herself very loudly or singing (also loudly) until one of us parent things shows up. She then leaps from her toddler bed and runs to the playroom. The loudness continues. Sometimes there is a crashing sound. Did I mention she laughs like a super-villain? Yeah, that happens too.
Pepper – The cat. The neurotic, not to bright, Prozac-prescribed floof ball that clearly thinks she is in charge. If by some miracle the children don’t get me up in the morning, Pepper will find a way. Maybe it will be coughing up a hairball. Maybe she will climb over Lisa (the previously mentioned wife and mommy) and perch on my stomach, purring loudly and pressing all her weight on me. Maybe she’ll just get right in my face until I wake up to blue eyes and whiskers telepathically saying, “Are you up yet? How about now? Now? Oh good, you’re up. Feed me.”
The plus side is that unless I have to be in work very early, I have plenty of time to do everything. The negative is that for a good 20 to 30 minutes I’m in a state of shocked auto-pilot which, on one occasion, had me putting apple juice in my coffee.
Alarms? We don’t need no stinkin’ alarms!