Friday, July 17, 2009

Why (I think) I'm my son's hero

At some point or another, every parent (competent or not) is their child's hero. This morning I believe I saw great envy and admiration in my son's eyes. I believe the task that I accomplished so effortlessly yielded adulation in him that I had never seen!

See, baby Nate is infatuated with bathrooms. He thinks crawling in to them is really neat. I'll spare you the details of his affinity for the commode, but trust me, he's not old enough to sit on it but he's big enough to pull himself up....fill in the blanks.

Anyway, today he was crawling down the hall at breakneck speed, headed straight for his 'promised land' when he was obstructed by some cardboard box inners. At this point I had not yet had my hero revelation, so needing to wash my hands I simply walked over the immovable (to him) mountain.

He looked at me as if I had just leaped the moon (to him, I did) and I proceeded to his wonder-world to wash up. So to him, being able to go in to the bathroom WHENEVER YOU WANT is the best, the tops, hero-worthy.

Ahhh, having a toddler is so rewarding!


Eventually he navigated his way around the obstruction and once he was clear he put his little motor in overdrive. He made it in record time and was making a bee-line for the lid (mouth high) when suddenly I bellow...


He pauses, momentarily....then chuckles like 'yeah I hear you, and yes I know, and no, I don't care...'


Normally he processes this as, 'continue when ready' but this time he actually looked at me. Upon seeing my frown and disapproving head shaking, he tilted his head to the side.

There he was kneeling at the crossroads.




He looks at the toilet as if to say, 'see you later sweetie, nothing personal,' and

Crawls Away from the Toilet!


So now I'm sure I'm his hero, because not only can I go to his favorite place whenever I want, I can get him to stay away from it, too!
I wonder if this will work when he's 16?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The blood was gone

I got home and the trail of blood was gone.

Gone, I said....gone.

Whose blood, and where it went require me to start back a ways, so sit down, grab some bon-bons and listen up...

It all started back over Father's Day weekend. We went camping at a state park with our friends. There were some great hiking/biking trails (my thought...'how nice for the hikers and bikers'), but our friends are rather active so we brought our 2-wheelers along. Now, in order to bring our heart-attack inducers I had to connect our large (6x12) utility trailer and bungee-cord down the bikes. Lame, to be sure - but it worked.

So we bike and such and suddenly I'm Lance Armstrong. Pulling the trailer henceforth is simply not going to cut it. What to do? Well, I've come to discover some discounted treasures (used junk) that I thought could be useful to me on the Craigslist site. After realizing that a 5-bike trailer-hitch bike rack will run far north of $450, Craigslist is looking better and better by the moment.

A search brings up.....absolutely nothing. Man, I hate Craigslist.

Only kidding there.

So I'm 0-for-1 when I see a new cool little feature 'Craig' added. If you don't get your desired result (meaning, zilch-squat-zippo-nada-nothing), the search engine searches near areas (communities) for what you're seeking.
And there I see it - A SIX BIKE RACK!!
Six bikes? Yes, six bikes!! Now, Nate can't ride yet (nor can he walk yet, but hey, he'll get there) but eventually we'll need a six-bike rack!

The only catch?
It's attached to a camper.
Now most people might see that as a deterrent, but not me. I see that as an expensive bike rack with a free pop-up camper to boot!

Fast forward a day and bingo-bango, I'm pulling a pop-up home, happy as Clark Griswold on his way to Wally World.

I love used stuff. You beat the depreciation, and if it's been well taken care of, you score big. However I like to customize my purchases to make them 'mine.' So after changing out the door and drawer handles, the floor is the next obvious choice.

I'm also a believer in having the right tools for the right job, so a quick trip to Home Depot and a new 'super sharp tile cutting' Husky utility knife later, I'm ready.

I begin installing the new floor and it's looking good. I'm feeling confident about the decision to upgrade the floor, and looking forward to going camping again the following day when all of a sudden my blade somehow jumps over the metal straight edge and fillets the end of my finger.

For a second that seemed to last much longer, there was no pain. Then like 1980 Mt. St. Helen's, the finger erupted and the molten-lava (blood) started gushing. I rush inside, leaving a gruesome track of every step, and race to the sink to wash it out.
I can't even see the cut, but can feel the skin barely hanging on, so I wrap it with medical bandages and tape and head off to the E.R.

1 hour and seven stiches later, I return home to complete the job, finger throbbing and all. When I get inside I look down expecting to see that awful dark-crimson stained reminder of my miscue but can find nothing.

I head in to the laundry room, where I left quite an impression trying to find the proper bandages. Again, nothing.

The kids come rushing in to see how the patient is, and I ask about the blood trail. Maybe it wasn't as bad as I had originally thought, but in fact it was; and worse.

While I was gone Andrew (14 y/o) voluntarily cleaned up everything. EVERYTHING. He got down on the tile and cleaned up the mess.

I didn't tell him to, I didn't ask him to, and I didn't expect him to.

But he did it anyway. And I was (and am still) totally blown away. When I was 14 I would NEVER have done something like that. And although it's somewhat grotesque, it makes his self-less act that much more impressive.

Sometimes our kids drive us to the brink, and other times they make us bonkers. But once in awhile you get these little pockets of behavior that reveal who they really are inside, and it makes you so proud of them it takes your breath away.

That day, there was no step-this or step-that, we were just a family helping one another out. What a day, and what a great kid!