There are two types of people who pick up children by their waist, raise them up until the child's arse is directly in front of their face, and then sniff. They are either a) parents, or b) from Ilion, NY. Parents do it because they think they can smell poo and it's the easiest quickest way to figure it out. The key here is that it is your own child. Because judging by the local news a frightening number of people from Ilion, NY have been arrested and charged for doing this to other peoples kids against their will. Anyway, I realized today that in the presence of someone else I had done this to my boy. I narrated the fact that I needed to check his diaper - like I was on an episode of CSI or something and oddly explaining what is going on to the world at large. Luckily the someone else is from Nice in France, so he didn't automatically think, "that's very weird - he must be from Ilion, NY."
It rained a lot this weekend. I shouldn't even be remotely concerned about being outside in the rain and yet I found myself griping that my kids wanted to go play around on their grandparent's driveway. I realized after about two minutes of standing in pretty strong rain that neither of my kids cared at all. And why would they? There were no bugs, lots of puddles and things filled with water that they could knock over. Great fun. It did give me the opportunity to put on my awesome hat though. It looks somewhat like this -:
I call it my Indiana Jones hat. Sadly when I wear it I look like a twat. It's perfect to wear in the rain and to keep bugs out of my hair. When my wife casually chucks it on she looks fantastic. As fi she had it specifically made for her by a local artisan hat maker. Even my daughter likes putting it on and it looks better than I do in it. As it was raining I put it on and instantly felt much cooler than I clearly actually am.
I grew up mostly in the UK, and a good chunk of that was in South Wales. People there are just damp all the time. When it rains it barely affects any prepared plans - they just go outside and get on with it. Because it will unquestioningly rain tomorrow as well. The first few months that I lived in the US it was Summer and there was no such thing as a rainy day. It was so different I actually remember the very first time it rained after I had emigrated here. We lived in Western NY state and we were driving up the Robert Moses Parkway towards Lewiston. Then it started raining like this was the end of it all. I mean seriously hammering it down. I genuinely could not see out the car windows. Maybe even the windows might break. I may have screamed - I honestly can't remember. But even if I had no-one would have heard me because the rain was so loud. My wife casually slowed down to about 53mph and carried on with life. A few minutes later it stopped raining as quickly as it had begun. I became used to this after awhile. When it would rain like it does in the UK I would go wander around outside. Neighbors and passers-by thought I was mental. And yet here on the driveway for two minutes I was grumbling because we might get wet. I've been here too long obviously. Thankfully it was only fleeting and I saw sense to the point of refusing to go inside when it started to really chuck it down.
Anyway, today my wife took a bunch of people canoeing in the rain down the Moose River in the Adirondacks. I stayed home and looked after the kids. Pretty much we spent our time out on the driveway riding bikes and stamping in puddles. We played our daily game of Dr. Bonk and Princess Bounce. My daughter set it all up as The Adventure Of Dr. Bonk, Princess Bounce and The Doughnut of Doom. Which meant I was the doughnut. However in the middle of fake-chasing her she stopped, refused to play any more and asked me why all our adventures had to have mean people in them. Why no good monsters? Why not have nice things happening? So she renamed it Dr. Bonk Had A Bath because my son was sat in a pretty decent puddle. She circled him on her bike until she fell off. At which point she yelled, "Daddy I hurt my cucumber!" and we went back inside.
So yeah - even though it was a Sunday and that means a family day I offered to stay home (well - at the in-laws) while my wife took some of her employees canoeing. The reason I offered to do this was because it meant I could earn a vacation. As of 4pm today I left my in-laws house and will be all by my lonesome until 8am tomorrow morning when I go pick the kids up. I've been the full-time stay-at-home parent for three months solidly so it is very nice to have a night off. Right now I'm sat on the couch with the laptop DURING THE DAYTIME!!! without the fear that two children will attempt to smack the keyboard or demand to play PBS Kids games. I'm also have a cup of tea RIGHT NEXT TO THE COUCH!!! without the threat of a tiny child chucking it all over themselves and getting burned. I'm taking some real gambles. But that's me - I live life on the edge.
But what will I do later? Will I go gambling at the casino? Bar hopping? Spend a night at the local speedway watching people drive around in a circle for 120 minutes? No - I'm going to continue to sit on the couch, finish writing this, read a book, watch local PBS and eat Corn Chex for dinner. That's right - I'm not going to make any kind of effort to make dinner tasty or even nutritious in any way. Later on I will have a bath. There will be no bubbles, no toy plastic animals or slippery splashing children insisting that they get in it. Then I'll arse around online for an hour or so whilst listening to something silly. Like a Radio 4 sketch show. Or John Zorn. Something stupid anyway. I might lie on the living room carpet and eat a bowl of ice cream. Then I'll lie in my gargantuan bed and go to sleep (eventually) with my headphones on. I cannot sleep when I'm alone without the radio on so it will at least be a good time to listen to some music I've been meaning to get around to checking out.
In other words - I'm not going to do much of anything. I might even wear my stupid hat all night. I'll close the curtains though in case neighbors think a twat has broken into my house and is watching TV in his underpants and eating ice cream.