May 25, 2010

Dog tired

Last Thursday, Claire and I went on a picnic with a couple of her classmates. You see, there are a couple grandmas who care for their respective grandchildren in the afternoons after preschool lets out, so I see them everyday when we're waiting for the kids to get out of school. In fact, one of them apparently heard through the grapevine that I'm a stay-at-home dad, so she said to me one day, "I hear you're a stay-at-home dad." I replied, "Yup," to which she responded, "Huh... I've never seen one of you before." Anyway, she's a lovely woman, but I thought that was an interesting - and a bit awkward - exchange that made me feel more like a sideshow freak than an engaged parent who cares enough about his child (and creating the foundation of a lifelong bond with her) that he'd give up a stellar career as an award-winning purveyor of high quality furniture at a modest price. Okay, okay... so maybe my career was more ordinary than stellar, and maybe I disliked it more than I enjoyed it, but I look for any excuse to feel sorry for and/or publicly praise myself. Now, back to those grandmas...

One day Claire and I were invited by grandma #1 (Sandy) to go on a picnic in the park near the preschool. For days, Claire talked nonstop about the picnic and what she would pack in her lunchbox: a turkey sandwich, carrots and dip, blueberries, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, cheese sticks, an orange (it's actually a clementine but whatever), crackers, a juice box, and a cookie with chocolate milk for dipping. Picnic day finally arrived, and I picked up Claire from school and drove to the park about 1/4 mile down the road. To my surprise, there were two dads and a mom who joined the grandmas and me. We found a tree and set up our picnic area. Luckily, the grandmas and the mom each brought a blanket while us dads were apparently expecting to rough it. The kids played for a few minutes before we herded them up for feeding time (now I understand the term "herding cats"). We all sat around on the blankets and fed the kids. As soon as they finished lunch, the kids returned to the playground area to burn off some energy while the grown ups chatted. Not being an exceptional conversationalist, I soon joined Claire at the playground so I could push her on the swing. 

After a few minutes, the grandmas and their respective grand kids came over to say "good-bye" (not more than 10 minutes after we finished lunch). I suggested to Claire that it was also time for us to go home, and she strongly declared, "Not yet!" Feeling a bit guilty that Claire doesn't get much toddler-interaction besides at preschool, I decided it was not a battle worth waging. Plus, it would surely have been one I would lose anyway. So after swinging for a while, Claire joined the other kids on the main playground thingamajig (the fort-like structure that typically has slides, ladders, stairs and other falling hazards climbing mechanisms protruding from its core). They commenced to playing a game they invented called Emergency, which involves one child being the fireman who the other kids chase - sort of like follow the leader but with a greater sense of urgency. 

Meanwhile, we parents all gathered on the one remaining blanket belonging to the mom and continued to chit-chat. After a while, the kids began to overheat and would stop by for the occasional drink of water. Unfortunately, one of the dipshit dads forgot to bring extra water, so everyone else had to share their water with his kid. Seriously, it was like 90 degrees! What sort of idiot forgets extra water? Anyway, once Claire drank up all her friends' water, the parents agreed it was a good time to head home. Once in our vehicle, Claire had a little outburst because she thought I was infringing on her individual right to stay and play. I call her outbursts "freedom tantrums" because they remind me of the TeaBaggers or Glenn Beck on Fox News always crying about all the freedoms and liberties they are losing. C'mon, you didn't actually think I could write an entire post without getting political did you? So after we got home, Claire headed for the couch and immediately crashed.  All in all, it was fantastic day, and we're doing it again this Friday. Yea, yea, yea... I know what you're thinking, but don't worry. There's no way I'm going to forget this time. Do you take me for an idiot? After the last picnic, there's no way I could forget! Rest assured I'll be sure to remember a blanket this time.


Anonymous 8:50 AM  

Cute baby....

byDog grooming, pet grooming

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About This Blog

Commentary from a stay-at-home dad on daily happenings and misadventures while helping raise a wonderful little girl. The goal is to employ wit, sarcasm and/or humor to make the blog pseudo-entertaining. Then again, setting goals never really worked for me, but maybe you'll chuckle anyway.

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