Team LOD has a new favorite park. We've got our own nickname for it, but for the sake of the children (and Lord Google), you'll have to figure it out for yourself.
Someone at the West Chelsea zoning board has a sense of humor.
It's a strange thing, re-emerging into society. The last week can be called a vacation, in the sense that my premises were vacated, but it was mostly a break from media saturation. Eager to take our mouths off the cultural firehose, my wife and I were happy having not much to do but stare at stuff like this and this.
And now, safely re-settled with broadband at my fingertips, I learn that 1) Our Man Mapother finally came out of the closet and revealed himself as a wealthy and pedantic loon, 2) Tigger and Piglet passed away within a day of each other, and 3) portions of the British Empire are ruled by monkeys. That'll teach me to suck in so much so soon. Better to pace myself, lest I spend the day suffering from the Media Bends.
We're also readjusting to the day-to-day of Summer in the City--which, judging from the tropical rain and relentless humidity, was relocated to the Gulf of Thailand while we were away. As I was out goofing around with Robert, I struck up a conversation with a mom who was herding a small gang of boys around the park. We got to talking about polyprogeny, and I mentioned that she seemed awfully sane for a mother of so many. Momentarily lulled by the compliment (still the best icebreaker before you set about picking someone's brain), she decided to let me in on a little secret.
"Want to know the best way to learn how easy it is to have two kids?"
Absolutely, I said.
"Have a third."
Today I had a quite suitable Father's Day morning, and not just because I got out of the house by myself. During my errands--drug store, diner, grocery store, bank--every counter worker, cashier, or whatever wished me a happy Father's Day. And I didn't even have the little nibbler Bjorned to my chest or nothin'. These are the very nice people who've seen the four of us around and who know what our "usuals" are. A big benefit of living in the same place for as long as we have.
These errands were preparation for how I will celebrate Father's Day this year--by renting a car and driving off for some R&R (to the extent that's possible) in a place remarkable for its overabundance of nothing. No broadband, no wireless, no cable, and only a local paper whose front-page stories usually involve the tide schedules. Back in a week.
I've recently succumbed to the cold hard fact that I need to post more. I get ideas for posts all the time, but before they get the chance to take root in the little square-foot garden of my brain, Robert will further his new fetish for nude construction by stripping down to nothing but his hardhat and begin comparing his boyhood to his Lincoln Logs. Or TwoBert will nuzzle in the Björn and suddenly grab a fistful of chest hair. (It doesn't really matter that his meathooks are so tiny. Uprooted chest hair hurts like a bitch, regardless of quantity.) And when I manage to recover from the shock to the system, the glimmer of an idea has disappeared down the rabbit hole, and I'm left mixing very awkward metaphors.
Unrelatedly, TwoBert's growth has been phenomenal. There have been times when my wife and I have sworn TwoBert was growing right in front of our eyes, like a rising soufflé. At TwoBert's 5-week well visit today, we learned his body mass has increased by 40.4% since he was born--which, according to the CDC, moves his weight for his age from the 75th percentile to the 90th. At this rate, he will weigh 254 pounds by his first birthday, and my wife's breasts will be a fond memory.
Also unrelatedly, Robert's need for speed is becoming alarming. He will tenaciously pedal up really steep grades at the park so he can careen downhill and slalom through scaffold supports (time to invest in a helmet, I think) and yell, "Look at me, Daddy! I'm an Andy car!" I'm pretty sure he means Indy car, but I don't know where he gets that because we are totally a NASCAR family. We like our racecars full size, thank you, because that means more surface area and more surface area means MORE ADS.
So to sum up: more posts, wood vs. wood, chest mange, Amazing Colossal TwoBert, speed freak. The Summer of Chaos has begun, a full week before the damn solstice.
After our Bagels With ButterTM on Sunday morning, Robert got it into his head that he and I had to gallop around the block. Not run or skip, mind you, but gallop. I made a few attempts to look cool and merely run behind him, because let's face it: I'm all about the cool. But each time Robert caught me slacking off, he launched a stiff rebuke. ("C'mon, Daddy! You have to gallop! Like a horse!") So I galloped. Like a horse.
As we neared the clubhouse turn, though, Robert's sandal caught the sidewalk and he fell forward, lightly abrading his knees. All I had with me was a bottle of water, so I opened it and rinsed off his boo-boos. Before long, the water puddled at his feet and ran in little rivulets toward the curb. And Robert pointed and said, "Hey Daddy! That looks just like dog pee!"
I really shouldn't do this. I should instead form a sole proprietorship, crank out some business cards, and get a listing in the Yellow Pages under eructation consultation. Such is the magnitude of my gift.
Why give it away and forego untold millions? Because I don't roll that way. I am all about the people. So if you're a new parent and your newborn constantly struggles with recalcitrant gas bubbles, here's a little peek into my process:
When TwoBert pulls off the nipple and starts squawking his strident I-have-to-burp squawk, I hold him to my chest, rub his back, and sing, "Go TwoBert. It's your burp-day. It's your burp-day." I don't know if it's the motion, the caresses, or an innate distaste for R. Kelly, but it consistently does the trick.
At last, a moment of relative repose; one child is asleep on the couch, his arms over his head like a preening weightlifter, and the other is momentarily pinioned in his chair and scarfing down his dinner. My wife has control of the remote, so the TV is tuned to a show about wedding planners that airs on one of those ultra-niche three-digit channels. Oh, the suspense! Will Denise get the stargazer lilies from the florist to the reception before they wilt? And how will Ashley react when she finds out the band's drummer used to date the maid of honor?
My wife loves this sort of crap. Which is why she is a freak. (Unlike me, whose willingness to sit through hours of New Yankee Workshop reruns is perfectly normal.)
She and I agree, however, that this household's newest favorite show is The Comeback. It's a fictional show about a reality show filming the genesis of a fictional show. It has Lisa Kudrow, who we know is very smart because she is just as rich and famous as the other Friends and yet has convinced the tabloid press that she is uninteresting and unworthy of harassment. And it has spawned a new catchphrase destined to seep into a water cooler near you: "I just need to know that I'm being heard." I love this phrase, because since my descent in to polyprogeny it has become the subtitle of my life. I serve my masters at work, I serve my (much more voluble) masters at home, and in my free time I notice that I haven't posted in five days and serve my webmasters, the Internets.
Meanwhile, my favorite type of servicing remains off-limits for another few weeks. Of all those I answer to, irony is the most brutal mistress.
I am tickled by the thought that almost every paper in America had "DEEP THROAT!" written across it in a hyperbolic type font. Anyone new to the country might think there's been a widespread fellatio epidemic.
I sincerely hope a new informant will be inspired by Deep Throat's story and leak information about this current administration. And I hope he refers to himself as Filthy Sanchez.
I'm also amused by one of the brownstones Robert and I pass on the way home from the park. It's clean and meticulously well-kept, but its front facade features concrete gargoyles, a row of grotesque marble statuettes depicting the seven deadly sins, and a sign with "Un-Welcome" scrawled across it over the door. (Robert often asks to walk by "the building with the lizards on it.") There 's also a handwritten poster on the front window advertising a two-bedroom floor-through apartment for rent over the summer. It's been up for a few weeks now, so I wonder if they're curious why no one's jumping at the chance to live above Weirdly Gruesome.
As Team LOD settles into foursomehood, the boys continue to exhibit interesting new bits of behavior. Robert is becoming fixated on his friend Sadie, whom he often says he "loves." No play date can end without a hug and a kiss for her. Healthy enough, I suppose, since you have to feel love to express it. But lately the two of them have made their relationship exclusive, often telling interlopers that "you can't play here" and "you're not our friend anymore" and reducing the unfortunate third wheel to tears. Today, he saw Sadie on the swings and almost yanked the kid swinging next to her down to the pavement. This is a phase that will hopefully 1) pass quickly and/or 2) be excellent fodder at their rehearsal dinner.
TwoBert is far less interesting, since his two main talents are clusterfeeding and staring cross-eyed into space. However, he also hoots in his sleep, which is about the cutest thing ever.