The Baby Swing Dilemma

crossroad.jpgOnce again I find myself at a crossroads where my kids are concerned. On a side note, if you never saw the 80s movie “Crossroads” with Karate Kid’s Ralph Macchio, I highly recommend it.

Anyway, this crossroad decision involves whether or not to wean my oldest son away from the swing or not. With my first son, it was all about the swing. Swing at night, swing at naptime during the day, swing, swing, swing. With my youngest son, almost a year old now, he’s been actually very good about sleeping in his crib, only requiring the swing during the daytime and generally, any time we really just need him to calm down and rest.

This “calm down and rest” time also happens to occur every morning between 4:30 – 5:30 a.m. when we adults are still trying to squeeze a few extra minutes out of our slumber or trying to get ourselves ready for work unencumbered by a clamoring baby. However, I’m not immune to the fact that while this may work for now, sometime in the next additional pound or two, that puny Fisher-Price swing motor is going to go kaput like the two before it and we’ll be left hanging with a crying baby at 5:30 in the morning.

Personally, I’m a cold-turkey kind of person. When I set my mind to doing something, or stop doing something in this case, I just stop. I don’t dial it down gradually—nossir, I’m all about nipping it in the bud—and permanently!

CareerMom is not.

So unless I want to get into a mild argument with her over the swing, any attempts that I make to stop using it will be usurped by her at her earliest convenience. So I’m stuck over what to do. I guess like most things, you just cross that bridge when you get to it.

I also still have about 20 pairs of disposable earplugs if things get too bad.

I Don’t Care for Today’s Reimagined Superfriends!


I have discovered something (else) too late in life that I wish I had figured out sooner: Never, and I mean NEVER, tell your kids about something you really liked as a child and that you still sort of hold near and dear to your heart because they will latch onto it like it is their own and you will hear of it to no end until you are just so sick of it, that you wish you’d never even heard of it.

What am I talking about? Spider-Man…that’s what I’m talking about.

It all started innocuously enough. Some kid in my oldest son’s class was already into Spider-Man and my son was only mildly interested until one day I was briefly watching (I only get to watch things briefly at my house because the instant I sit down to watch anything, my attention is diverted by one of the boys) Spider-Man the movie—the one with the Green Goblin–came on television and my son came downstairs and quietly sat down beside me to watch. Well, I wasn’t sure I wanted him watching it, so as he sat there with me, I didn’t really respond to his questions of, “Who’s that?” and “Why is that man hitting Spider-Man?” with any gusto.

So now, since I didn’t respond correctly, the Green Goblin has become “The Green Guy.” And then sometime later, my son saw Spider-Man 3 with the black suited, mean Spider-Man who has big teeth and a long tongue and now he has become “The Tongue Guy.” So now we have “Red Spider-Man” to differentiate between the black one, “The Green Guy” and “The Tongue Guy.”

Oh and did I tell you that he wanted to be Spider-Man for Halloween, which earned him one silky feeling Spider-Man suit which he cannot stand to be without. From the moment he gets up in the morning to the moment he gets home from Daycare in the evening he wants to wear it. And I can’t blame him. If I’d had a silky outfit when I was a kid, I might have worn it too…but I digress.

So now, all I ever hear is, “Daddy, I’m going to be Red Spider-Man and you be The Tongue Guy” and we’re gonna get the bad guys.”

Now honestly, I’m all about playing with my kids and all, but there’s something about having my favorite superheroes reduced to blasé naming conventions that grates me and quite frankly, I’m tired of Spider-Man and his ilk.

But stupid me, in an effort to move his interests along, I introduced him to another of my childhood favorites, “The SuperFriends.”  So far, it’s been tolerable, but that’s only because we’ve not yet exhausted all of the television episodes that still exist on Nickelodeon. But it’s coming. I know it is!

And not even Superman and his boundless powers, combined with Green Lantern’s power ring will be able to stop my son’s childhood enthusiasm from ruining that for me too! And I thought I HAD grown up!

Losing my religion…and my patience…and my “Best Dad” award

puke.jpgI’m going to start today’s blog with the statement that if you’re a single parent, and you got that way through no fault of your own, you have my deepest sympathies. I say that because as of today, I am officially NOT enjoying being a parent.

The kids have been on and off sick for nigh on 4 days now. While CareerMom was in Vegas last week, I had the boys and was lucky enough to only have to clean up puke one day. Since she’s returned home, we’ve had three days of puking, cranky 11 month old and whiney, pukey 3 year old. And I gotta tell ya…I’m over it.

To make it worse, when I got home yesterday to relieve CareerMom from her day of watching the sick kids (and BTW, I was feeling really sorry for her until our oldest spilled the beans that Mimi came over and watched them while CareerMom went to the grocery store and whatever else she needed to do. And let me also mention that all last week while CareerMom was gone, the best I could get out of Mimi was an invitation to dinner on Friday night.), our youngest was in bad need of a nap and didn’t want to go down. So I listened to him cry for about 30 minutes before interceding.

Asleep in my arms as I rocked him, the moment I tried to put him in his crib, he woke up screaming as if death itself was wrapping its boney arms about his little body and squeezing him. Knowing how badly he needed to sleep, I tried to leave him in his crib and TRIED to ignore his screaming.

Having survived that, we put him in his bed around 7:15 because he was just out of it. He awoke at 8:23 screaming again and nothing would calm him down. Now, this is where I officially lost it.

I got up out of bed, put on my clothes and left. I just left the house. I could not take it anymore, and this is where you single parents get all the kudos. You can’t do this. You can’t just leave. The best you can do is walk outside.

Luckily, good judgment got the best of me and I drove to the local drug store and picked up some earplugs. I returned home to find him still screaming and CareerMom giving him some Tylenol. At some point in the next hour he finally wore himself out and slept till 4:30 when he got a diaper change and a fresh bottle.

But frankly, I’d rather put in a 15 hour day than go home and deal with that again tonight. I’ll say again that it’s amazing that the human species exists at all. I honestly don’t know how people raise more than a couple of kids.

Just keeping my big mouth shut

I work out in the gym about 4-5 times per week, going on nearly 15 years now. Since I’ve been in the gym for so many years, I’ve created an “as-of-yet” unpublished list of Gym Etiquette rules and whenever someone violates those rules, I get really annoyed.

Topping the Etiquette list are:

  • not using a towel (there’s few things worse than getting on a machine or bench and finding a wet, sponge-like spot of sweat on the bench where the previous person didn’t use a towel…ugh!)
  • standing right in front of the weight racks when you are exercising (hey, others are working out here too ya know!)
  • sitting around on a machine doing little more than people watching or reading the newspaper  (really folks, just stay home…)
  • talking on the cell phone (OMG! Get a life. Can’t you go 45 minutes without talking on the cell phone?)

My workout routine typically consists of 2-3 days of nothing but weight training, and then usually 1-2 days of half cardio/half weights. When my knees and back aren’t bothering me, I’ll jog for my cardio; otherwise I’ll use the elliptical. Regardless of what I’m doing, I always have my headphones on blasting my favorite tunes, but sometimes when you’re right next to someone being loud, you can still hear them.

The other day my knees were bothering me and I opted to use the elliptical machine rather than do my usual 2 mile jog before hitting the weights. I had been on it for about 10 minutes and I was in the zone. I mean, the music was pumping and I was tranced out staring at a spot on the wall across the gym. Peripherally, I could see people coming and going and part of me noted that someone got on the machine beside me, but I didn’t wanna ruin my buzz by looking, so I just ignored them.

About five minutes later, I noticed that I could hear this person talking on the cell phone. Trying to ignore them, I turned my music up and worked even harder. But like all annoying things, such as the theme song from The Wiggles, once you’ve noticed it, it’s in your head and you can’t ignore it. So, I turned my head to give the person next to me my most menacing stare, only to see that the person beside me was…drumroll please…CareerMom, my wife. Of course I didn’t say anything to her, opting rather to keep the peace and say, “Oh hi, didn’t realize you were there.”

I have since noted that she has a habit of talking on the cell phone while on the elliptical machine and while this still annoys the crap out of me, I just make it a point to avoid working out next to her. Needless to say, she has also NOT seen my Gym Etiquette guide, although I am tempted to print it out and just leave it lying about the house somewhere. But that would probably be mean…