Saturday, August 13, 2005

Love For Sale

Scene: Mark and John (wearing Arthur in a sling) exiting the Lane County Fairgrounds after submitting cookies and photos for judging. They stop at the traffic light.

Mark (looking down the road at two cars speeding towards them): There's the car I want.
John: What? The station wagon?
Mark: No! Not the station wagon. The Triumph TR6.
John: We can't afford that; we're poor.
Mark: Listen to you, Mr. Tea & Scones.
John (singing): Love for sale.
Mark (also singing): Middle-aged love for sale.
John: (still singing): Love that's only slightly old. Love who says his feet are cold...

Thursday, August 04, 2005

If you squint a little...

Tuesday morning when I woke up and looked at the crib where Arthur slept, I thought I saw him levitating above the crib. Since my glasses were off, and because the perspective looked wrong, telekinesis was not high on my list of explanations for this apparent floating behavior. I fished for and found my glasses; when I put them on, what I had mistaken for Arthur's head turned into a pale green gift bag, and his body resolved into the bug net which was stuffed into a storage pocket on the crib. I took my glasses off; levitating baby. I put them back on; nothing odd looking here, no reason to be alarmed.

While I'm on the subject of weight, we weighed Arthur last weekend; he's up to fourteen pounds. He started out at over seven, so that means that he's been gaining a pound a week.

Speaking of feeding. I had just finished feeding Arthur his lunch Wednesday when Muriel jumped up on to the couch. Muriel is handling the transition to a household with a child nicely, but there are moments when she will insist on coming up to suck all of the oxygen out of the room.

This was one of those times. Muriel pressed up against Arthur with some kind of cat notion of occupying my lap. My hands were kind of full burping Arthur at the time. The nurses at the hospital showed us a way to burp babies while the baby is sitting in your lap. So I was leaning Arthur over a little when a bit of white spit-up and baby formula drooled out of his mouth and only Muriel.

I started laughing. If I hadn't been holding Arthur I would have fallen off of the couch. Muriel couldn't figure out what I was laughing at, but I think she knew it was about her.

Wednesday morning on my way to Savoure, I looked across 10th street, and there was a stout man with long gray hair pushing a shopping cart the opposite way. I was only slightly better dressed and I realized that my clothes and the fact that I was pushing a baby instead of my belongings were really the only differences between us (OK, I was skinnier and my hair wasn't quite so gray).

I think that's one of the weirder things about being a stay-at-home dad. There don't seem to be many of us guys about, so we stick out when we're on the street. Then of course my writer's imagination took over and I thought, what a great spell to have if you were a street person magician -- the harassing cops are closing in on you, so you cast your spell and poof! Instead of a homeless person with a shopping cart, you're a stay-at-home dad pushing the pram; nothing odd looking here, no reason to be alarmed.

We got a magazine in the mail today. Actually, it was addressed to Arthur, which made me suspicious that this was actually propaganda sent out by the Baby-Military-Industrial Complex. I was right; the articles were written by Pod People Parents.

I nearly died reading one article about gross babies; the author goes to a fancy dinner party at a friend's house when, right in the middle of the dinner, the hostess whips out a port-a-potty for her two-year-old daughter to use in full view of the guests and just inches away from the dining room table. The author is horrified, but three years later, after becoming a Pod Person Parent, laughs at her earlier notion that small children should learn to have bowel movements in, say, a bathroom. I am not making this up.

Fear sells these kinds of magazines, so they are filled with "your baby will die or become an underachieving bum pushing a shopping cart unless you act now and often" articles. Acting now and often usually involves purchasing enrichment toys or programming your cell phone to dial 911 the moment you sense that a bum with a shopping cart might be following you.

I'm holding out for a parent's magazine that tells you how to teach your child telekinesis.