Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Pedal power

With the warm weather The Boy and I have been going on more bike rides, so I thought I should endorse the iBert safe-T-seat.

This is a child seat that actually attaches to the front of your bike, on the handlebars. It's a bit wacky, I know, but it's actually pretty cool. The child is right up there with you, he gets a better view, and it's actually easier to control because the extra weight is between your arms and not fishtailing behind you. Plus you get a lot of looks when you ride by.

It was a bit awkward at first trying to pedal, but I quickly learned to angle my knees outward a bit more and now I can bike along no problem. The only disadvantage is when The Boy and I wrestle for control of the brakes, but usually I win.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Secret shame

All men have a terrible secret, and it's eating at me inside so much I can't live with the lie anymore.

Most of us, myself included, can't grill a hamburger.

Oh, we make a big show of it. We'll get the coals going or light up the propane. We'll mix up some patties and throw them down on the grill. But then we start to flounder. Are the flames too high? Not high enough? When do I flip? Dang, I should have put the chicken on first to give it more time to cook! What about the buns? Do I toast them on the top rack or will it make them dry?

It's not funny. Really. There are some things men are expected to know, like sports and engine repair, that we don't actually get any training for. I don't like sports and the only thing I know about engines is that 80% of the time it's a problem with the regulator, whatever the heck that means, but you'd think I could master something as simple as heating ground beef. But when you only do it a few times a year, and it's a do-or-starve situation, there's no time to learn. So your friends and family end up eating burnt hockey pucks, which is fine because anything tastes good with ketchup, and you can't help but wonder how sincere they are with their praise.

I blame high school for not broadening our education. The boys in shop class and the girls in home ec should have swapped rooms for a day. The boys could learn how to cook a decent burger and the girls could learn how to jump start a dead car battery.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

School of Hard Knocks

One of the biggest differences between men and women is how they deal with a child in danger. If the toddler climbs up on a chair the woman's first instinct is to rush over and get him down. The man's first thoughts are, "Hm, the carpeting is pretty thick in this room. If he falls down he probably won't get seriously injured, so maybe I'll just let him learn the hard way. Oops, The Wife is coming. Better pretend I only just noticed the kid dangling from one leg and rush over to help him."

My current lesson in adversity is the baby swing at the local park. It's low enough for The Boy to push away, and half the time it swings back hard enough to smack him in the face. The Wife would probably drag him away but my attitude is that the swing is light enough so it won't break his nose and this way he learns how to duck as well as Newton's laws of motion. He'll thank me one day when he gets his doctorate in physics. Or becomes a prizefighter.

Time flies

Sheesh, I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted.

Unfortunately (or fortunately), not much is happening with The Boy. He's a bit bigger, he's got "cooka" down pat, and we've taken to going to the local park after dinner each night. It means a later bedtime but that allows him and The Wife to sleep in a bit later in the morning. It's recommended by many people for us working dads.

And that's something I should bring up. After a year and a half of being a quasi house-dad I had to suck it up and get a real job. Unfortunately this means much less time with The Boy and that's a sad thing. One of my biggest regrets is losing out on his firsts, like the first time he masters a new word or the first time he learns how to hug.

But then it occurred to me that those things catch you by surprise anyway. Even when I was watching him all day I'd still be amazed when he did something for the first time, like walking or saying something. You still think, "Holy cow, just yesterday he was crawling around on all fours and now he's tap-dancing on the coffee table!"

So I still do regret the lost time, but we spend plenty of hours together during the week and there will be plenty of firsts that I'll get to see. And this way we can afford luxuries like food and rent.