Domestic Bliss Report

Motherhood is hard work. If we don't stick together, we'll all fall apart.

Sunday, February 20, 2005

The Thief.

Dale:

When does time sneak past me? How does it evade my vigilant gaze, maturing my children right before my eyes?

I swear to you: I have been watching the whole time.

Fridays are good days for yours truly. They are either days off, or paydays. Neat system, eh? It sure works for me.

This meant that Madeleine and Dale were my particular charges last Friday morning. I ran them up to the playgroup at the local elementary school. It's a nice program--the kids get some structured playtime with Mom/Dad and several other children, have a story read to them, and eat a snack before picking up the place. It runs for an hour and a half. Nothing remarkable happened: I helped Maddie with some Playdoh creations, and Dale with some vehicular toy issues. They listened patiently to the story, and didn't wolf down the animal crackers. All in all, a good time had by all. For having twelve toddlers, it was hitch- and meltdown-free.

Afterwards, I had to run a couple errands. First, to deposit a couple of checks at the bank. This was the site of the first Moment. As I was pulling out of the parking lot, out of the blue Maddie piped up with:

"You're really beginning to freak me out, Daddy."

With an incredulous laugh, I said "What?!" She just laughed in response. Little girl, I thought, save the sounding like a teenager for at least seven more years. I've been thinking that a lot lately. She's not nasty or rebellious-sounding--the speech is just far too mature.

Definitely so for the man who used to cradle her easily between his elbow and wrist three short years ago, and is now puzzled that she is more than half his own height. It's at times like that I take comfort in the fact she still has an imaginary friend.

Next was a stop I was semi-dreading. I needed to confirm how late a nearby barbershop was open. Pulling into the parking lot confirmed it was open to 6pm. The Boy™ was overdue for his first haircut, having only received a couple of tentative trims from Mom during the first twenty three months and three weeks of his life outside the womb. Now, it's not as horrible as you might think: he has his mother's curly hair texture, so we're not talking I'm A Boy length here. But definitely getting too long. So today was to be The Boy's™ First Haircut. Given that he had screamed like the donor in the Live Organ Transplants sketch during those harmless trims, I suspected he'd need a Versed dart for the real thing.

We went home, and fed them lunch, and put them down for their naps.

Read: "Tried to put them down for their naps."

Dale was having none of it. After forty five minutes of watching him flop around the crib, I took him out, put his shoes on, and decided to take him to his appointment with destiny a couple of hours early.

The barbers in question had been recommended by my sister-in-law, who said that their two sons had had no problem at all--in fact, they seemed to enjoy the experience. This was theoretically possible, but I reasoned that perhaps it simply meant those two nephews, while good boys, were weird. It didn't matter though--we weren't letting The Boy look like Little Orphan Annie under any circumstances. Even if it meant the hair had to be removed on an outpatient basis.

We walked in, and were greeted by both of the men. Both men radiated the grandfather vibe, which was a good start. Allen, the one with the open seat, said it wouldn't be a problem, and in fact, cutting little boys' hair usually went well.

OK. Sure.

Dale went into the seat--struggling and crying a little. Then the cape went around his neck. Magically, he started to calm down. Huh. Maybe this won't be so bad after all.

It got better: the barber pointed out what should have been obvious--only 8 feet of sidewalk separated the picture window from Van Dyke Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Metro Detroit. Freight trucks rolled by with regularity, and Dale was pleased with that. There's also a large car dealership across the street, and he (and Daddy) had a lot of eye candy to stare at.

It went off without a hitch. He had the chance to hold the electric clipper (power tools!), and thought it was especially cool when Daddy sat down for his haircut. Then he was done.

At that moment the shock hit. The toddler had grown up in a flash. With the clipping of a little hair, the veil was thrown aside and I saw a glimpse of the young man he slowly, inexorably, is becoming. In precisely the same way--only more advanced--that I am seeing his older sister turn into a young woman.

"Great job," I told Allen. In the way that mattered to a barber, I meant it.

Two stops later, we went home and had dinner.

Afterward, I held Rachel. Five months old, and bearing the prize title of "The Baby." Heather told me to feel Rachel's upper gum ridge.

A tooth. Her third, to be precise. The first two broke through two weeks ago. The still-infant grinned at me in response, which was wonderful.

I'm just afraid the next time she smiles at me she'll flash two rows of flawless teeth, complete with a toothpaste commercial "Ping!"

The great thief had stolen into our home again--this time, taking a little more of the baby from each of my children.

I will have to redouble my efforts to make sure it doesn't happen again.

1 Comments:

At 3:52 AM, Blogger Jim Naka said...

I have a wwe toy site. It pretty much covers wwe toy related stuff. Check it out if you get time :-)

 

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