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Friday, April 18, 2008
Tommy Grand alert!
I will be talking (albeit briefly) to Tommy Grand of Cheaters tonight at just after 8 p.m. central on this Web radio show. I know it's short notice, but if you're a fan of Cheaters, or at least my entry about Cheaters, check it out.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Father of the Year: Part 1
In parenthood, I like to think we're a lot more prepared than our fore- (or four- if you're lucky) fathers were. We have the Internet, we have tons of books on parenthood (mostly mom-focused, but still), we have lots of alterna-dads, hipping it up for the rest of us.
I think I keep it together pretty well for the most part.
But here is one of the three worst things I've done as a dad so far. I haven't dropped Lilly on her head (yet!) or fed her rat poison instead of Gerber's by accident (there's still time!), or taken her to a strip club (not till she's old enough to work there). But that doesn't mean I can't confess what it is to be a crap dad on occasion.
It goes away after a the kid gets past six months, but before that, co-workers constantly want to lay their eyes on the new child. Every day, I'd get asked when I was going to bring her by the newsroom and let the people who were generous enough to throw us a baby shower see her and coo at her cuteness.
What makes it a lot easier is that I take her to daycare every day and I actually have to swing back in the direction of work on the way home. One evening, I was actually struggling to finish up something and Lilly was only four months old, still in her "Sleep or cry" phase and not needing tons of attention all the time. She could be counted on to conk out in her carrier for hours and she was already used to our commute.
So I bring her into the office and lay her down next to my desk in the carrier as I finish up some work. She's perfectly still, so only people staying late at work who happen to walk by even notice her.
But before I can wrap things up, Lilly wakes up and starts fidgeting. I take her out of the carrier and she starts full-on crying. I keep looking around, worried that I'm bothering the people around me who are trying to finish things up on deadline.
I figured she must be hungry or need a changing, so I grabbed her diaper bag and carrier and took her to a small conference room just past the elevators.
She was indeed poopified. I laid her on the conference room table on a plastic green changing pad we carry around and got all daddy with the poop. I would say that this particular poop, which wasn't too spread about, had no chance against me, an expert cleaner of poops. It was over quickly.
I set the rolled-up diaper aside and got her dressed. I managed to get her back in the carrier (also up on the table) before she could start crying again. The poop must have worn her out because Lilly was already starting to fall asleep almost as soon as I strapped her in.
I zipped up her bag and grabbed the diaper for tossing. I looked around the room, but couldn't find a trash can. So I took the diaper into the hallway and tossed it into a trash can outside a nearby bathroom.
Turned around. Walked back to the conference room.
The door: locked.
I looked in through the narrow window next to the door. Lilly lay there. Staring right back at me.
I tried the door handle again. Still locked.
All right. Calm. I could go to the security desk and find somebody to unlock the door. But it was after 6, so nobody would be downstairs in the lobby, so I'd have to go all the way to the production entrance to find somebody with master keys. How long would that take? Two, three minutes? Can you get busted for child abandonment in three minutes?
What if someone with a key happened by, walked into the room and was like, "Hey, free baby!" What the fuck was I gonna tell Rebecca if that happened? "She's in a better home, probably?" Naw. Would not fly.
So, I did something even stupider: I knocked on the door.
I don't know why. Maybe a ghost with real-world abilities could help a brother out? Maybe I believed that my child is such a genius that she could somehow unstrap herself, hop off the table and somehow push a chair to prop herself up and open the locked door. My imagination, sometimes it is too active.
When knocking didn't work, I just stood there and sighed. I did it again. It wasn't working, but at least it made me feel a little better.
Then I got very lucky. An editor I work with named Gary was walking by and noticed my obvious distress. He asked me if everything was all right.
"Uh, my baby kind of... I kind of locked her in the room. And now I can't get in. Because of the lock."
As if not believing that someone employed here could be so negligent, he peeked in through the window. Lilly was starting to fidget again. Gary went into a panic.
"Do you need me to go get the key from security?"
"Oh man, could you? That would be great!"
So Gary runs like a superhero to go get the key.
My child looked at me. I looked at her.
"I'm sorry," I mouthed.
She was unimpressed.
Gary came back with the key less than a minute later. I unlocked the door and walked in and Lilly started crying immediately. I thanked Gary profusely and he said, "Anytime," as if aware that this was destined to happen to me, and to Lilly, again and again, as if we'd pissed off a Greek God.
I gathered her things and took her home.
That night, I told Rebecca the story and after she'd cursed me out a few times, she asked, "Wait a minute. Her carrier wasn't sitting on top of the table, was it? She could have rolled herself off and flipped over!"
You have two choices here: you can argue on the ridiculousness of a four-month old being able to pull off that kind of physical maneuver.
Or you can say what I said: "Of course not. She was on the floor the whole time."
Sunday, April 13, 2008
Smart Kids Healthy Eating
A "Masters of their Domains" feature on a Web site called Smartkidshealthyeating.com ran in the paper today and on the Web site is a video I shot and edited. That lady makes fantastic healthy scones.
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