Thursday, January 31, 2013

It's Apparent You're a Parent

It's apparent you're a parent when you attempt to put your work gloves on and find a fruit snack in one of the fingers.

It's apparent you're a parent when there are more than four hours of Mickey Mouse Clubhouse on your DVR.

It's apparent you're a parent when you need a band-aid and are forced to choose between "Strawberry Shortcake" or "The Muppets."

It's apparent you're a parent when you have half a dozen used Kleenex in your pocket, and you haven't used any of them.

It's apparent you're a parent when you start speaking in rhymes because you've been reading Dr. Seuss all day.

It's apparent you're a parent when you can name every character on Super Why (Super Why, Wonder Red, Princess Pea, and Alpha Pig) but can only name one member of the President's Cabinet. (Jon Kerry just replaced Hilary Clinton, right?)

It's apparent you're a parent if you've even heard of the show Super Why.

It's apparent you're a parent when your chicken nuggets are shaped like dinosaurs.

It's apparent you're a parent when you know which McDonald's have PlayPlaces and which ones don't.

It's apparent you're a parent when you know the entire PBS mid-day schedule.

It's apparent you're a parent when you go out to eat at one of your favorite places and, along with your food, you get a cup full of tokens.

It's apparent you're a parent when you are a heterosexual man and you take a large green bag with ducks on it with you wherever you go. (Thankfully we have since upgraded to a more "manly" diaper bag.) (Assuming, of course, that any diaper bag could be considered "manly.")

It's apparent you're a parent if you've ever uttered the phrase, "Don't lick the pool water!" (I borrowed that one from The Wife.)

It's apparent you're a parent if you notice whether or not the public restroom has a diaper changing station or not. (And you're a little indignant if it doesn't.)

It's apparent you're a parent if you see kids behaving badly and mutter to yourself, "Well, at least that's not my kid. (This time.)"

It's apparent you're a parent if, when fueling up the car, you make faces through the windows in hopes of getting a smile or two in return. (And it makes forking out $50 for a tank of gas seem almost worth it.)

It's apparent you're a parent if you know what time the school bus comes every morning, not because your kids are old enough to get on it, but because seeing the bus pull up across the street is one of the highlights of their day.

It's apparent you're a parent when you no longer get to sit next to your wife at church. Instead you're each on one end of the row, hoping to contain the kids in between you.

It's apparent you're a parent when you wish, for more than one reason, that Barbie would wear clothes that weren't so tight fitting. 1) So your daughter doesn't think she can wear clothes that tight; and B) so you can change her clothes without it seeming like you are trying to peel a grape.

It's apparent you're a parent when the lock on the bathroom door is the most used, trusted, and important lock in the entire house.

It's apparent you're a parent when you've finally found an audience that will laugh every time you try to use a banana as a phone.

It's apparent you're a parent when there's a smile on your face whenever you think about them.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Our Bacon Anniversary

Earlier this month The Wife and I celebrated our wedding anniversary. We've been married for six years. In some ways it seems like we've only been married for about a year and a half. (Admittedly, I wasn't the one who endured two long pregnancies, so I'm sure the time went faster for me.) And, in some ways it seems like we've been married for 20 years. (It certainly feels like I've changed 20 years worth of diapers!)

A lot has changed in the six years that we have been married. Six years ago no one had ever heard of Facebook, Barack Obama was a first term senator, Brett Favre was still playing for the Packers (and had only threatened retirement four times), and phones weren't "smart," but they did flip open like a communicator from Star Trek (which was AWESOME!!!)

The Wife and I celebrate things differently than we did when we were first married. For our six month anniversary, we got a room at the same bed and breakfast we stayed at on our honeymoon. For our six year anniversary, we took the kids out for pizza.

Actually, it was better than it sounds. We went to a place called "Planet Play." They had an all-you-can-eat pizza/dessert buffet, plus little rides and games for the kids, and games for the adults, too. (Basically, it was like Chuck E. Cheese on steroids.) (Or should I say it was the "Lance Armstrong-ed" version of Chuck E. Cheese?) We had a ball.

And, truth be told, our anniversary celebration really began earlier in the day. The Wife made me bacon for breakfast! Bacon!!! (It was a special treat.) That's not to say we never have bacon. We just don't have it very often. (The Wife told me she'd make me bacon on a more regular basis, but she actually wants me to be around for our several more anniversaries.)

And then, with the leftover bacon, we.... (Just kidding! There is no such thing as "leftover bacon." Leftover bacon belongs to the realm of make believe and fantasy, like unicorns, bigfoot, and honest politicians.)

To reciprocate for the bacon she made me, I made The Wife some french toast. (French toast is one of the few things that I'm pretty good at making. My french toast is well-regarded by people from at least two different states and several counties.) The Wife really likes my french toast. Of course, I've had her french toast, and it is easily as good as mine, if not better. (I think the reason she likes my french toast best is because she didn't have to make it.)

So, all told, I had a really good day. I got bacon, french toast, all the pizza I could eat, all the soda pop I could drink, and I got to have fun with The Wife and the kids. (Buzz discovered air hockey, Roni had fun riding the bouncy snail, and I "let" The Wife beat me at pop-a-shot basketball.) (For clarification, so I don't get myself in more trouble, the quotation marks around the "let" are there for sarcastic purposes. She beat me fair and square.)

It wasn't the traditional anniversary celebration. After it was over, I remembered that each anniversary is supposed to have a theme or a gift associated with it. (You know, like the 25th anniversary is the "silver" anniversary, and the 50th is the "golden" anniversary.) So, I looked it up on the interwebs and found out that the sixth anniversary is supposed to be the "iron" anniversary.

The "iron" anniversary? I'm not sure what that even means. Am I supposed to get her an iron for our anniversary? (I already got her one for Christmas a few years back.) (She was delighted.) Maybe an iron handrail for the front steps? I could give her my entire collection of Iron Man comic books. Or, better yet (from The Wife's perspective) I could sell all of my Iron Man comic books, clearing up room in the "comic book closet" for more of her scrapbooking stuff. I just don't know what I'm supposed to do for an "iron" anniversary.

All of these different anniversary "gifts" seem pretty weird to me. According to Wikipedia (which is NEVER wrong) only the "big" anniversaries had gifts associated with them until 1937, when the American National Retail Jewelers Association (not to be confused with the National American Association of Retail Jewelers) made up a list for the rest of the anniversaries. The list goes like this:

1st: Paper
2nd: Cotton
3rd: Leather
4th: Linen
5th: Wood
6th: Iron
7th: Wool
8th: Bronze
9th: Pottery
10th: Tin
11th: Steel
12th: Silk
13th: Lace
14th: Ivory
15th: Crystal
20th: China
25th: Silver
30th: Pearl
35th: Coral
40th: Ruby
45th: Sapphire
50th: Gold

This list seems rather silly to me. First off, I'm wondering how tin managed to snag such a good anniversary.  You'd think the 10th anniversary would get something a bit more prestigious. I mean, really? Tin? (Nothing says "romance" like tin!) And some of the other things that made the list are a bit iffy, too. Pottery? Lace? Linen? I'll bet aluminum, ceramics, and macrame are feeling really left out.

Personally, there aren't many things on this list that I care much about. I think we should rebel. Let's forget what the American National Retail Jewelers Association (not to be confused with the Association of National Retail Jewelers of America) tried to shove down our throats. I think we should make our own list. I'm thinking food items would make a better list. (After all, wouldn't you rather have a baked potato than some ivory?) So, here we go:

1st: Ice cream
2nd: Muffins
3rd: Spaghetti
4th: Pudding
5th: Waffles
6th: Bacon
7th: Churros
8th: Potato Chips
9th: Meatloaf
10th: Cake
11th: Jam
12th: Bananas
13th: Cookies
14th: Baked Potatoes
15th: Pizza
20th: Pork
25th: Beef
30th: Chicken
35th: Turkey
40th: Cheeseburgers
45th: Salmon
50th: Steak and Lobster

Now isn't that a much better list? There's so much more to like here. (I'm really looking forward to next year's churros!)

So, to conclude, I'd like to thank The Wife for six wonderful years! (And the best Bacon Anniversary ever!!!)