Friday, September 17, 2010

Happy Friday + a "That's What He Said" Update

Welp, friends, we have made it through another week. I made some kick butt spreadsheets, sent the great American work e-mail, and boy howdy did I drink a lot of coffee. That's just how I roll, especially in a week that the Mad Dog has decided to be a bad sleeper again.

This week also marked Shannon and my 4th anniversary. I'm not sure exactly, but I'm guessing that the odd taxonomy that equates years of marriage with raw materials would mark year 4 as burlap or perhaps dish towel. Year 4 has been a wonderful and industrious time:  a year chock full of the prosaic work of building a household, making career moves, and parenting a rambunctious child.

I remember that whirlwind day 4 years ago. It was hot as the surface of the sun for our ceremony on the banks of Lady Bird Lake in Austin. Fortunately, we had the shortest ceremony in recorded history probably since some caveman officiant grunted "You married." Shannon was a beautiful bride, and I look back wistfully on the pure joy of that day.

As we sweated under the arbor that day, we both said vows. There was the usual stuff about pestilence and destitution, and we added one of our own about promising to go on adventures. I think we've hit the mark, even if it is a bit of a stretch to count wading knee-deep through a particularly horrific diaper as an adventure..It still counts.Anyway, love ya and I look forward to another 11 or so more of these 4 year marriage chunks (at which point my coffee and wine ravaged body will implode).

Moving right along, here is a bonus Friday "That's What He Said." I've been fighting off the remnants of a cold, and the final stages involve coughing up some gunk. I had just finished a spirited hacking cough this morning when Mikey chimed in, "Oh, daddy, that's juicy. That's icky."  He's getting more like his mom every day. Thanks for reading! See you next time.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Let the Indoctrination Begin

Now that Michael's verbal and reasoning skills are getting up to speed, it's time for us to start indoctrinating him to like the things that we like. Sure, we'll take care of the stuff like reading books, enjoying healthy/locally grown/in-season food, and exercising. Yada, yada, yada. The important thing will be securing his allegiance to our sports teams of choice, the Texas Longhorns and the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Clearly we have excellent taste in football teams, as these two programs are near the top of the heap every year. With awesome tradition, great looking uniforms, and fantastic fan support, Michael is very fortunate that we are choosing these teams for him. Even better, our rivals, Auburn, Tennessee, Oklahoma, and Texas A&M, make such juicy targets that the jokes practically write themselves.

Methods of indoctrination:
Passive exposure:
We will provide Michael with a huge supply of licensed logo clothing from each of the schools. He started out in tiny burnt orange onesies and I'm sure he'll be wearing some sort of Longhorn backpack when he heads off to kindergarten in a few years.

We will take him to each of the college campuses and show him how awesome they are. He will be posed for photographs in front of famous campus landmarks to set the ole nostalgia hooks and create a historic connection to the school. I will be sure to emphasize that walking through the Auburn or A&M campuses would involve dodging smelly cows and trying to avoid their leavings. "If you go to A&M, you have to wear overalls to class every day. You wouldn't want that, would you?"

Mikey's nursery features an Alabama pennant and a gigantic Bevo mascot growth chart poster. The idea is that the constant exposure to these images will create a permanent imprint on his malleable little proto-brain.

Active Support:
We watch Alabama and Texas games together, and role model excellent cheering for our teams. Mikey will begin to associate Longhorn touchdowns or Alabama sacks with outbursts of family joy and a sense of loving well-being. We will teach him to signal and yell "touchdown!", and he will be praised effusively for doing so. Some of my earliest and best memories of time with my dear sweet dad are during early 80's Bama games. I remember his maniacal screaming and hooting. "HE'S GOT THE BALL..WOOOOOOO!", etc. I hope Mikey will have his own fond memories of watching Texas and Bama games with Shannon and me. Here's hoping he can block out the naughty words and the periodic offensive coordinator rage that can bubble up.

We are also working on cheers and slogans. "Michael, what does the elephant say?" "Rooollllllllll Tide-dah," he sometimes replies. "Michael, what does Bevo say?" "Bevo's drinking the milk!," replies Michael. The above-mentioned Bevo poster in his room was sponsored by a Dairy company, and Bevo is indeed enjoying a fine glass of milk in the photograph. It's not perfect, but we'll take it.

Overall, we are confident that this strategy will result in a well-adjusted young man who has his college football rooting interests in good working order.

Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Sorry, Dad

We all collaborated to select your grandfather name. You've always been referred to as Grumpaw or Grampaw. Michael has heard the correct name hundreds of times.

Toddlers have a way of sidetracking the best laid plans. There's a quirk somewhere in Michael's developing verbal skills. Some consonant sounds are just difficult to correctly speak at the tender age of 22 months. I'm sure that your grandfather name will be corrected as soon as Mikey's little mouth develops a bit more. We'll continue to work on it. Don't worry. We will not rest until your grandfather name reflects the respect and dignity that you deserve, dad.

Until then, our hands are tied. Before we conclude here, please be aware that we make no guarantee as to the ultimate disposition of your grandfather name. Sometimes the name chooses you, not the other way around. This one might stick.

Once again, we're sorry to be at this point, and we hope that your grandfather name is resolved very soon, Dad, I mean, Pee-Paw.