Well our bags are packed, we’re ready to go

27 Aug


Movers arrived today, to box up our worldly belongings. The reality of the move gets pretty concrete when you’re faced with an empty wall of painting hooks and a wrapped up sofa.

There is still some anxiety on my part, but it is easing as it moves from unknown fear to a set of tasks, which have solutions. As my friend tells me, no one is dying in the makin if this movie.

And as my clothes are unceremoniously dumped into boxes, it feels more and more like stuff and less like me, or my life. Of course toddler may have a different opinion when he returns from daycare to find everything boxed up.

For most of our friends, we will talk to you on the other side, as they are taking our linking toys and moving them. We are due to fly out Saturday night, and settle sometime in the next week or so, but maybe more.

I’m not ready to say goodbye in my heart to Brooklyn, or New York, quite yet. But it is happening. Now.


A few things

3 Aug

First of all, I’m pretty certain that I’m going to stop writing about raising a boy in Brooklyn, when we move from Brooklyn. We are moving to Portland at the end of this month, and while I’m looking forward to the move, I’m feeling like Brooklyn Dad is going to be something less than it has been. I’m appreciative of the record of his first couple years, but for now I’m feeling a little ambivalent about continuing. I’ve started using Day One a bit more, which is a journaling app for the phone and computer. It’s keeping me reasonably, if intermittently, honest about keeping the record going. The public part of this (well, quasi-public, considering that there are a very small number of people who read this blog) is, well, I don’t know how I feel about that part.

More mundanely, we went to the playground today, after going with great success yesterday. They’ve installed (well, situated) an imagination playground at the 9th street Harmony playground, at Prospect Park. Yesterday, on a great sunny day, we played with those blocks, then went on (as we call them) the squeaky bridge, then the wobbly bridge. Then after some guiding and cajoling, even the corkscrew slide! My god, the corkscrew slide, man! The corkscrew slide!

Sunhat? Check. Shades? Check. Sunscreen? Check.

Sunhat? Check. Shades? Check. Sunscreen? Check.

Today, it was pretty empty, and it was raining all morning. B, excited at the prospect of the turny slide, marched right up, went right down…and completely zoomed down the slick, wet slide. Around the slide, onto his butt, his back, his hands. Nothing was hurt (the ground is that soft stuff), but this completely freaked the kid out. The one parent who was witness to my all-star parenting moseyed over, impressed, to tell me he was hauling ass at ‘superhero speed.’ It was 5% scary, but the rest hilarious. Like I could see in slow motion the unfolding of my mis-judgment about the slide’s speed, then super-fast speed up of flailing child down the slide.

I finally got him to go again sitting on my (now soaked) lap, and we went a few more times this way. I’m hoping he isn’t put off of the slide now, but we will see. He was all, ‘don’t want the wobbly slide!’

So yeah, good stuff. My single parenting week continues. I’m not even going to go into the FaceTime with nana, where I thought it would be funny to stuff him into a couple of taped-together boxes, and he started getting stuck and then crying. I’m simply taking credit for video chatting with my mother-in-law. It’s a fathering clinic round these parts, I tell you. A clinic.

On my lonesome

1 Aug

This week, my better half has trekked off to Portland, to find us a place to live. This has left me with the little madman running about the apartment, wanting to play with scissors, go outside, not be in the rain, ride his bike, not wear sandals, wear sandals, not wear pants, play with the stapler, watch a movie on the computer (which for him means a 2-minute clip of a Sesame Street clip or somesuch), watch a movie 100 times in a row, eat chicken parm, but not that piece, and no cheese, please, and no tomato sauce with it, but with the crunchy peas (which have no nutritional value) dipped into the baby-food peas and brown rice (but only a dip dip), go in the stroller, walk, go in the stroller, walk, go to Tea Lounge for banana bread (just a little bit? please?), not eat the lentil soup because it’s too hot, but dip the pita bread into the soup (which really means just eat the pita bread (which has no nutritional value)), and read 5 books, and sing 5 songs, and have some water, and pee in the big potty, but just wave my hands in the air not dry them on the towel, but also to have dry hands, and call mommy please, and just sing one more song. And papa should go to sleep too. Right here next to the crib, please.

The bad news is, it’s been just over 24 hours. The good news is, we’ve got 6 more days to go.

We did go to Tinkergarten today, and played with mud. And got a full-on happy dance about this. Mud! Glorious mud! And a remarkably (well, not by their standards, but more by my own ‘oh crap, I forgot to bring a shovel’ life) well-planned outing and set of activities. Thank you Meghan and Kyla, for such plush artisan mud! I’m finding sycamore trees everywhere now! If you are by Prospect Park this fall, sign up. They will be worth it, and unless you’re on top of it, full.

Feeling this, but really secretly feeling this.


27 Jul

BB (sitting with his dish of chocolate sprinkles): Papa, you didn’t get ice cream? Would you like some chocolate?

(later, when I put him in his crib)
Me: BB, when I go to sleep tonight, I’m going to dream about big boats.

BB: I’m going to dream about big boats too!

Honestly, it may be possible for our little one to be cuter, but I just can’t see how that might happen. These are the days, the moments, that make so much of the work feel like nothing at all.

How long do the pro-papa salad days last?

25 Jul

At the moment, baby is just so pro-me that it’s both great but also a little embarrassing. Well, not embarrassing per se, but more that mama does so much of the work, and I’m getting so much of the credit. There is an element of my being the ‘fun’ parent, which comes with my wife taking the toddler to the store, while I take him to get muffins and pancakes. But that actually is offset by times that she takes him for smoothies, or to so many of his activities.

I am loving it, though I don’t think it will last. I keep waiting for the ‘don’t want papa to do it’ swing to happen, but so far it’s all sunshine and lollipops.

Oh, and this morning he was playing with his cars, laying on his front while propped up on his arms. And he turned to me and said, “I’m pooping.” And you know what? He was.

Traveling with the little one

21 Jul

I’m at the end of a 4-day jaunt with the little one, my first trip with just baby. There have been weeks when I’ve been out of town, leaving my wife with the kid; and there have been trips that baby mama has taken with the kid while I’ve stayed home. But between nursing, which went through part of year 2, and our schedules, I’ve not had the opportunity.

The circumstances of our trip, I’ll leave for some other analysis. But we’ve been in Hilton Head since Thursday, leaving on Monday. Since we have been here, we have: gone in the pool every day; gone to a children’s museum; gone to three dinners at restaurants; gone to the beach; rode a pedal bike (with training wheels); gone bike riding, with me in front and baby in a seat attached to the rear; gone to a big playground; gone to a harbor to see big boats; thrown all manner of things into all manner of bodies of water; seen cranes, egrets, alligators, rabbits, chameleons, crabs, and lots and lots of Spanish moss. It has been a busy few days.

And on the potty front, baby has had one minor incident in the house, a minor incident on the plane, and the rest success. There’s another airplane trip tomorrow, so we will see how that goes. I put him in a diaper for the flight, but then had to take it off in the plane to go pee – it’s a ‘just in case’ (read: poop) diaper.

It has been a pleasure for the vast majority of the trip. No meltdowns at all, sleeping until 6:30 or even 6:45, napped 3 of 4 days, bedtime has been late but never later than 8:30 or so. A doll. The cycles are getting shorter though, and today he was missing his mommy. I get the feeling that another day or two and the meltdowns would start coming, along with other forms of resistance. But this has been a really great trip on many fronts. I mean, there was that incident when we went to a ‘cook at your table’ Japanese restaurant, and the dude’s onion volcano exploded sideways with fire that burned a kid’s arm a bit. That was the most actual (as opposed to potential) danger I’ve felt since maybe the baby was even born. Seriously, I’m still edgy thinking about it, even though it turned out to be completely fine (even for the unfortunate kid).

I feel pretty close to the toddler now, even though I was somehow expecting some bonding or other that I don’t really think happened. But there is a form of trust that comes with having sole care of the little one, and I appreciate that. For example, I really wanted to put him under water in the pool (in the way that they taught us at swim lessons, not to just dunk him for the hell of it), but I ended up never really trying it because I think it would have made him believe that I would let him come to harm. Which is completely fine.

This all said, I’m looking forward to a little help and sharing the load a bit when I get home. Not just because it’s ‘work’ (though it is), but also because we’re both missing home a little bit. Of course, since I’m writing this all the day before I’m traveling again with him, tomorrow will naturally be a disaster, but so be it.

Boot camp, day 2

6 Jul

First, I love how boot camp makes me feel like we are training for navy seals around here, instead of spending the days staring at a two year old’s penis and tush for 10 hours.

The good of it is that it’s pretty established for B to use the little potty for peeing. And dang, he pees like 14 times a day. And so far no accidents, though I still think it is a matter of time before he poops on the floor. But not yet!

Although…he has not yet pooped in the potty. We are using diapers for naps and sleeps, and he’s woken from both with poop. So we haven’t done any #2 training yet. I know, the suspense, right? I will obviously keep you apprised.

I’ve said this before, but having an easy kid really makes you feel righteous as a parent. Everything you do works.