Sunday, June 13, 2010
Apropos of Nothing
Boston Globe Sunday Sports Page enthusiasts may recognize my title. And I say that imitation is the ultimate form of flattery, Nick Cafardo… On Saturday, the T family went to a birthday party for the Conn triplets that was so cute and fun for both the kids and adults alike. (Thank you, Jess and Mike.) At home later that night, I realized that my attention span and level of preoccupation are at their worst when we’re interacting at social gatherings with Greta. Someone could be in the middle of explaining how Jessica Biel wants to sleep with me no strings attached but I cut them off because G is about to drink from an unattended wine glass or she’s trying to pry a sippy cup from another little one’s hands. While the veteran parent is empathetic, I still feel horrible in retrospect - especially if I was talking to a non-parent. My “clarking out” (my dad’s been preoccupied when I speak to him for the last 30 years) is only going to worsen once Baby T2 arrives because the wife’s and my defensive scheme at parties will naturally have to shift to man-to-man from our current 2 v.1 zone. My apologies to anyone I left in the lurch mid-conversation… My new favorite antic of G’s is easily the sudden and spontaneous dance party that ensues when she’s digging on a good song. She’ll be in her own world playing with a toy when she senses a good jam, moves to a clear space in the room, and begins to hop around in a circle on her knees jerking her head from side to side – all the while smiling and flailing her arms in delight. It melts my heart to see her so happy… When G farts audibly and obviously, she smiles with guilt as her eyes dart to the faces of all around for fear of discovery. It cracks me up… Changing G’s diaper nowadays is like trying to lasso a calf while on horseback. When she’s dropped a bomb in her drawers, she’s inevitably way more squirmy and I just pray she doesn’t get poop on her hands while I struggle to secure the adhesive straps around her waist in a barely symmetrical final position… The next time you see her, please ask G to show you her “pretty eyes.” Pep added this trick to Greta’s arsenal, which she usually reserves only for males. Occasionally, she greets me with her “pretty eyes” unsolicited as I get her out of the crib in the morning. Other times, G will crane her neck forwards to do the honors as we eat dinner, making sure to bat her eyes at each person sitting around her. Once in a while, she even follows it up with a flirtatious wink that is more accurately described as G keeping her mouth open and one eye larger than the other… Speaking of eating, we use these bibs with a snap in the back because Greta can’t yank them off. About a month ago, Nana accidentally caught some of G’s hair as she snapped the bib around G’s neck. Consequently, G says “ow” pretty much every time someone either takes it off or puts it on… While we’re on the meal topic, I’ve been trying to teach Greta that throwing her sippy cup or food on the floor is bad. Basically, I make a stern face with my eyebrows pointing down, lower my head towards G, and say in a deeper voice while pointing to the floor “No!” When she puts the sippy cup back on her tray, instead of the floor, I say “very good” or something encouraging. Shortly after these disciplinary “lessons” began, G has changed her behavior minimally. She still hucks food and the sippy cup like a brat, but instead of just carrying on nonchalantly, she actually stops and points to the floor, shaking her head, while saying “Nooooo” in her own deep voice. I can’t keep a straight face and the adults at the table look away because we are trying not to lose our shit laughing. Basically, I suck as a disciplinarian… On my bath nights, I kind of treat it like a starting pitcher. First inning, G and I turn on the bath and check for the right temp. We pour in the soap. We wave at the toys as they begin to float. Second inning, I take off G’s clothes and diaper. I place her in. Third and fourth innings, I scrub her down and give sound effects as she plays with the toys. Fifth inning, we shampoo and rinse the hair. Sixth inning, I rinse off the rest of her body. As soon as I switch the valve down to drain the tub, G says bye-bye to her toys. In the seventh, I wrap G in a towel, pick her up, and stand in front of the sink. We wave at the mirror and grab the Elmo tooth brush. She likes to stick the brush repeatedly under running water, and then we go to the dreaded changing table. This is where I begin to tire as the starter. 95% of the time, G fights me with her diaper (see above) and I am hoping for a conference at the mound with my catcher and pitching coach so that the reliever a/k/a the wife comes in to finish off the game. 67% of those times, my pitching coach is nowhere to be seen or updating her status on FB oblivious to or simply ignoring my struggles. Somehow, we make it through to pajamas, the final bottle, her sleep sack, and finally bed. Complete game shutouts are rare, but no matter what the result, a celebratory drink in the clubhouse is often automatic.