I’m often asked, “Say, Dadsguide, what’s it like to be an internationally known (1) at-home-dad and pop culture writer?”
Well. Glad you asked! Here’s my Typical Monday Routine, variation B (for use after returning from weekend or longer vacations):
5:33AM - wake to magnitude 4 earthquake (optional)
6:00AM - Ignore 1st alarm to attend fitness class at gym.
6:09AM - Ignore 2nd alarm and sleep until 7:00AM.
7:00AM - Coffee.
7:05-7:35AM - Wake children. Make breakfast. Make Lunches. Eat.
Variation B path begins
8:00 - kiss TLW and kids goodbye as she leaves to drive them to school; get dressed
8:15 - more coffee. check email. listen to various voicemails from vacation
8:25-9:15 - pick up pets at boarder’s
9:15-10:30 - return home. start laundry. make grocery list. make notes for future posts. Conduct minor home and/or office improvements. Begin researching next vacation & travel plans. Read.
Resume Regular Monday Routine
10:30-11:30 - exercise at gym or outdoors
11:30-12:30PM - grocery shopping
12:30PM-2:45 - return home. put away groceries. start more laundry. shower. write.
3:15PM - pick up kids. (Option: after school snack or ice cream)
4:00-5:30PM - drop off son at fencing lesson. Additional grocery shopping and/or other errands as necessary.
5:45-7:00PM - return home; make dinner.
7:30-8:30PM kids bathe (if necessary). Clean up. Read bedtime stories.
8:30-10:30PM - fold laundry (if necessary); adult entertainment time with TLW (2)
10:30PM - lights out
So that’s it. Scintillating, n’est-ce pas? Don’t you wish you were me?
(1) Just saw the great, “Are You Rob Base” flow chart again. Must repost. But seriously - I have readers everywhere.
(2) no, it’s not that, you perverts. We run a family show here - I’m talking movies, board games, playing guitar, reading in bed, that kind of thing. Sheesh.
If you ski or snowboard, it might be difficult to watch this video — provided late Wednesday from Heavenly at South Lake Tahoe — and not get excited for what is finally available in the high Sierra.
The anticipation for the…
Oh man, this is killing me! Last week was like end-of-season skiing - avoiding rocks and crud - and this weekend we’re out of town. Other than being really crowded, I’m sure the skiing’s going to be incredible.
Tuesday night was the kids’ school’s annual Science Fair. Each of the kids between 3rd and 8th grade either do a project or come up with an experiment, and then create a report and presentation about their hypothesis, method, results, and conclusions. So, the scientific method. During the school day, they make presentations to each of the other classes, and in the evening the classrooms are opened up for and hour for the parents and general public.
It’s great. The 3rd graders make a model shelter (everything from igloos made from sugar cubes, to elaborate modern homes from the architect’s kid), the 4th graders created a field guide to native Northern California birds & animals, and the other grades each conducted experiements to parallel what they’ve been learning in their respective curricula, from botany to anatomy to mechanics. Really cool. My personal favorites were the 6th grader who made a 4-wheel vehicle out of old bike parts, and the kid who wanted to see if electricity stimulated plant growth by systematically electrocuting a houseplant (it didn’t).
But boy, were my kids pissed at me! TLW was out of town on business and so I was solo again. I made them both stay with me the entire time and walk me deliberately through the various exhibits, asking guiding, but I’m sure to them inane, questions (“But how do the raccoons communicate with each other?” - even though they’d already seen them all, and wanted nothing more than to run around with their friends. Instead they were stuck with their mean dad having to look at and talk about boring old science experiments.
Well, tough. As I explained, this event wasn’t social deal, it was about the science and the education. Plus, they get to run around with their friends all day, every day, and the evening was family time. And, for my third reason (they actually asked me for three reasons why they couldn’t be with their friends), the evergreen, “Because I said so”. I’m amazed that this rationale, thin as it is, still actually seems to work.
As you can imagine, I didn’t score a lot of Dad popularity points with the kids that night. And they were so foul-tempered that I didn’t even offer to take them out for an ice cream afterwards, which I had fully planned to do before we got there. So there.
Note: this entry originally appeared on my old blog in March 2009. I’ve since changed aliases for my children - Lucky was formerly known as Rupert, and Didi formerly known as Desdemona. The Lovely Wife (TLW) was and remains The Lovely Wife.
Don’t Shave Your Head Drunk (or any other time).
I’ve always thought it would be interesting to completely shave my head. Over the years I’ve experimented with everything from flat-tops, to shoulder-length locks, to big feathered 70’s ‘do’s, and a variety of facial hair combos, but have never done the complete Telly Savalas. Sure, the buzz cut was different in its day, but voluntary baldness? It always seemed to be the most radical thing, but I’ve never been able to bring myself to do it.
Until tonight, that is.
Last week before the ski trip I’d given myself a buzz cut (#2, for you hair clipper fetishists) which was pretty damn short. All this week I’ve kind of been thinking that my hair’s already really f***ing short now, why not go all the way? And so tonight I finally did. Tucked Rupert & Desdemona into bed, watched a terribly pretentious indie film (I’m sorry, “independent cinema”) with TLW, tucked her in, and then went to work.
(disclaimer: I did at least tell TLW what I was going to do. I recommend that if you decide to go down this path, you consult with your loved ones in advance, so they don’t think you’ve completely lost your marbles.)
First I gave my scalp an all-over with a #1. OK, that was pretty severe, but still fuzzy - kind of Marine-like. Then another once-over with no attachments - #0. A true, to-the-scalp buzz. Extremely, severely short, but still hair left. Not yet good enough. Then, into a warm bath for the final shave-down.
If you’ve never done this, take it from me: it is interesting to put shaving lotion all over your head, and then run your razor over your whole head. Very surprising how many hairs up there need to be trimmed. Of course, once you’ve started with the first step (the #1 buzz for me), there’s no turning back — you certainly can’t show up the next day half-buzzed and half your old hair, unless you want to look totally insane.
So now it’s done. My immediate observations upon being newly, voluntarily, bald:
We’ll see how the family and friends react tomorrow. Hopefully I won’t scare the children (much!).
Note: My Baldness was met with a 75% disapproval rating among all residents in the Dadsguide houselold. I ended up being the only one who liked it.
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The morning we were scheduled to leave for our ski vacation last weekend, my son stepped on a toothpick lying around on his bedroom floor, and the tip of it broke off in his heel. TLW and I were unsuccessful in removing it after literally hours of soaking, icing, and other pain-numbing techniques. After much howling and many tears (unusual for him), we agreed to put a topical painkiller on it and bandage it up for the trip. Plus, his heels have been bothering him (our physician says its Severs’ Disease, I’d call it an old fashioned growing pain). So, in addition to being kind of peeved with him for not keeping his room clean, I was disappointed that he was following in my footsteps (no pun intended) and being such a wimp.
Anyway, he skied all week except for the last day (6 days in all), advanced a lot as a skier, took a lesson, and got down some difficult black diamond slopes without falls or too much grousing - all with hardly ever a complaint about his heel. He’d always report that it was “OK, getting better” when we asked.
Last night we gave it another look. Time and the evening’s bath had helped it just begin to work itself out - not even a millimeter, but enough to make another attempt at extraction. Just the suggestion of trying again got him totally worked up and near tears. So, after promises that I wouldn’t use a needle this time, and stop if it hurt too much, I reached over with the tweezers and deftly & easily pulled it out.
It was great to see my son so relieved, and, as a parent, to relieve my child’s pain.
But here’s the awesome thing. That splinter was HUGE - easily 3/8” long, and going straight into his (already tender) heel. And he skied on it. For a week. I don’t think I would even have been able to walk with that thing in my heel. Seriously.
What a trooper he’s turned out to be. My entire opinion of my son’s temperament changed last night.