Friday, May 21, 2010

Point/Counterpoint with the Preschool Set

I'm always amazed at the ability of children to ask the most poignant, insightful questions. Charlie Rose has nothing on my daughter. Here's what she hit me with yesterday....

"Daddy how come you don't go to work?" My response?

"Because Daddy's manhood isn't tied to his career. Mommy and Daddy have decided to challenge traditional gender roles in the hopes of providing a better quality of life for all of us. And don't you like having Daddy home all the time anyway?"

Good answer? Maybe too heavy for a 3 year old? She's pretty sharp though. She sniffs out BS like a bloodhound. For what it's worth she seemed to accept my response. She kinda just looked at me like I'm from outer space (which is a look that all fathers get from their daughters at one time or another). Then she said:

"Yeah, but how come Mommy has to work?"

"Because we aren't independently wealthy Honey. Someone in this family has to work. Why don't you go to work? Do you want to go to work? I think you're old enough now."

"No Daddy, I can't work. I'm little!" she said with a huge smile.

"And that's why we have to make Mommy work."

Laughter ensued (but out of earshot of Mommy who was not laughing. She was working like an indentured servant from her home office upstairs).

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The hills are alive with the sound of killing

I'm still getting used to the silence of the country. No sirens or car horns. No ambient noise from the nearby highway. Thanks to our increased acreage we can't even eavesdrop on our neighbors barbecues. It's quite peaceful. What we do have are the sounds of nature in abundance. Croaking frogs, chirping birds and blood curdling cries from things being eaten alive. Ah the serenity of the country.

At about 1 a.m. last night I was in bed snug as a bug when I heard rustling and shrieking coming from the woods behind our house. It didn't sound human (thank God). I'm a city guy and I've never hunted anything in my life so I can't really identify what it was but I do know that some unfortunate beast was being ripped to shreds by something a little higher up on the food chain. It sounded like something taking a deer down. Maybe a wolf? I don't know...a cheetah? By the way, do deer shriek when their life flashes before their big vacant eyes? Maybe it was something else meeting it's maker. Any giant pandas in Connecticut? I have a lot of questions but no answers and I'm not about to go poking around in the woods looking for the scene of the attack. I've never even watched CSI so I'm useless there as well.

I might have to put on the ambient noise radio thing in the bedroom tonight to drown out the carnage. Sweet dreams for me.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Give Your Kids a Proper Name

I post the following link on Mother's Day as a way to encourage any new mother's out there to use some common sense and don't name that new beautiful baby girl of yours Kaetlynnne or Bryanna or George or some other nonsensical moniker.

My wife has endured more than a few of my rants over the years about the ridiculous names unfit parents are foisting upon their defenseless infants. I see it as a form of child abuse. I was watching a kids show today with my daughter and they flashed a picture of a cute little boy with his Mom. They didn't name the Mom but the kid? Dartanion. DARTANION!! Outrageous. Bring the mother up on charges. First of all the name is spelled D'Artagnan as in The Three Musketeers. It's bad enough that you name your child after a swashbuckling  frilly shirt wearing Frenchman from the 1800's but then you go with a phonetic spelling?! If you're gonna go there then go all the way. Maybe the kid will actually read some day.

You have to call into question the motives of these parents. Is it for attention? Is it because they think their kid is so unbelievably special that they have to create a name out of thin air? Sarah Palin is a great example here. People are actually considering that she could be qualified for the Presidency when she has named her children the following: Track, Bristol, Piper, Willow and Trig. OK, deep breath....

A Track is what you run on
Bristol is a city in southwest England
Piper is a dog's name
Willow was a bad 80's movie and a tree but not a kids name
Trig is short for Trigonometry which I can't explain because I was a journalism major in college

And can we use gender specific names please. I'm getting older people. I grew up when James was exclusively a boys name. I'm certain that any girl named James would have been laughed out of elementary school.When you exclaim that "Madison did so well at soccer this weekend" do you see what position you're putting me in? Is Madison a boy or girl? Am I the fool? I think not. Dartanion's mom might be though.

Happy Mother's Day everyone.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Faith in Humanity

I met a couple of extraordinary people today as a result of a a bit of misfortune. It just goes to show that when life craps on you it eventually turns into mind manure. Allow me to elaborate...

So my cool looking but recently not well running classic English car broke down today - stranding my daughter and I downtown with a thunderstorm brewing and my 2nd grader soon arriving at home via bus. Enter Awesome Human Being #1: Retired Teacher Guy (RTG).

So RTG not only asks if I need help when he sees me struggling to start my ride but he goes above and beyond by offering to drive me and my daughter to the repair shop. I already have a man crush on this guy but it gets better. Turns out he's a retired school teacher who volunteers his time to go into the schools and teach extra classes on a variety of cool kid topics - rockets, pond and lake ecosystems, etc. He had me at hello.We arrive at the shop and I get out and expect him to drive away - no. He says he'll come in to introduce me to the owner. Really? People do that here? By the way, RTG drives off before I can even thank him properly, making me feel like Bad Manners Guy (BMG).

Enter Awesome Human Being #2: Mechanic Guy (MG). I arrive at his shop desperate. He leads me to his truck, we hop in and he drives us back to my stranded vehicle. He spends about 15 minutes tinkering until he declares "You got no spark. It won't run with no spark."

I guess marriages and cars are a lot alike I think at the time but I don't share because I don't want him to think I'm crazy. He recommends towing it back to my house before the rain comes and he offers to give us a lift home so I can get back in time to get my son off the bus. Who is this guy? Jesus Christ Himself? (He did have a very large gold crucifix on). On the way back to our house I find out that this guy is a youth mentor in town who volunteers at 3 local schools. I also find out that he's 45, has a kid in high school and is yearning to be passionate about what he's doing - the mechanic thing is not floatin' it for him anymore. As he said, "I saw my 16 year old nephew playing the guitar and he was so passionate about it. I told him that I wish I was like that about something." Indeed my wise new friend. But what he didn't realize is that he is passionate about something - helping people. He helped me and I'm sure he helps countless kids in the community. He's doing far more for his fellow man from what I can tell than whatever he's doing to the cars he works on.

So the car is broken but my faith in my fellow man isn't.