Monday, February 11, 2008

on parenting

When we first found out that we were going to become parents, everyone we knew who had a kid said some variation of the same thing: "Everything about your life is going to change." Now I recognized the validity of this statement and even glimpsed the "abandon all hope ye who enter here" veiled pathos in the eyes of some who uttered these words, but I think I'm beginning to plumb new depths in this realm.

Beyond the occasional well-placed and utterly charming kick to the groin that I encounter during a diaper change and aside from the new fad of flinging hard, dense and sharp-edged toys at Daddy when his back is turned, there are a few things that I think we are starting to enter new territory on.

As we live in a small house and an eighteen month old seems to occupy more physical area than the laws of physics would seem to support (it's like the reverse of Dr. Who's Tardis), our two dogs, Kai and Jenny, are spending more and more of their lives down in the basement and in the backyard. This past weekend I finally became fed up with the state of our basement and embarked on "the big push" to bring order to the chaos. Over the course of this effort, I have uncovered one of the greatest mysteries of our time: how can 2 medium sized dogs (combined weight=110 pounds) shed approximately 4300 lbs. of hair in 6 months? Now, my weight estimate of the gargantuan hairball may be off slightly, but I think you see the point. If humans lost this much of their bodies in the same amount of time we would literally look like toothpicks.

As if this discovery were not enough for one weekend in the Moore household, a second more important discovery was made. What we have discovered promises to alter the very fabric of how fathers will view taking care of their sons from this point forward. We've all been there: mom needs some time to herself (or just needs to get away) and Dad is faced with taking care of his eighteen month old son for a couple of hours. After reading Tickle, tickle for the fiftieth time in a row ("Squelch, squelch in the mud. Splish, splash, scrub-a-dub. Gently, gently brush your hair. Tickle, tickle under there." Yes, I have it memorized along with a LOT of others) you are starting to get a little punch drunk. Said toddler looks on the verge of some sort of emotional release that is sure to include crying and you get that panicky, "What do I do?" running on a loop in your head. Let me assure you, this has NEVER HAPPENED to me. Ever. Period. End of story. But, for those poor unfortunate souls who find themselves in this "hypothetical" situation for real, I present to you: Heavy Equipment Videos. Thanks to nearly 30 years of high level scientists working to advance computer technology and the internet, we have the ultimate way to occupy a little boy! I'm not sure how Owen got so into heavy equipment (he has a special fondness for front-end loaders), but thankfully, enough forward thinking (and brilliant) fathers have posted heavy equipment videos to the internet that his obsession can be easily sated. If you find yourself in this position, try it out and see how well it works!
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