Where have we been the last couple of weeks? We've been wasting away again at Grandma & Grandpa's in Key West, having fun. While the rest of you suckers were dealing with rain, wind, snow & general winter crappiness, we only had to worry about seaweed, sunburn, the occasional jellyfish...
... and keeping Edie out of Key West's many fetishwear establishments.
Apparently, some of us have been having a little too much fun, but that's going to have to be a story for when she turns 18.
There was a time when Valentine's Day had a special significance for me & Kitty. After all, it was our first kiss - 17 years ago today. Wow, what an amazing memory.
And then 12-months ago, it all went to #$@%.
No offense, Edie, but you really screwed everything up. But, here we are, so I might as well say:
HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY, little girl.
What an amazing ride this past year has been. If I could sum up everything I've learned in the past 12-months really quickly, it would be: "You have to be an absolute MORON to have a second child. I mean, seriously? You go through this once and then you're finally clear of diapers, and screaming, and lack-of-sleeping, and you do it AGAIN? What kind of IDIOT are you?"
I'll tell you what kind of idiot you are, you're the kind of idiot that races upstairs every morning the minute you hear the slightest peep on the monitor so you can be the first thing your daughter sees; you're the kind of idiot that laughs as he wipes an elephantine pile of poop out of her clothes just because she's smiling at you; and you're the kind of idiot who writes this blog post with a big dumb smile on his face, because he's so happy that she's here - even if one year ago tonight you were shivering & sweating underneath a blanket due to lack of sleep and adrenaline overload... and possibly the flu.
Speaking of idiots, do you know what Finn did this morning? He sang Edie a song. Of his own making. Called "When the Sun Goes Down It's Valentine's Day Night". What an amazing title, right? I'm pretty sure that the words went something like, "YAH YAH YAH, BOOKY BOOKY, BLAAAAAH", but he wouldn't sing it again for me. Told me that it was only for his sister, whom he loves.
And who am I to argue with that?
Happy birthday, Edie. This has been the best (and most tiring - seriously) year of our lives. And I wouldn't give it up for anything.
For the record, any text you receive from your childcare provider that includes the phrases "... and (then I) looked back to realize he had stuck his hand down the back of his pants and got poop all over his hand," or "I don't know how he even had that much poop in him!", you can rest assured that you'll have a full evening.
I'm not going to zoom in on that, but yes, it's exactly what you think it is.
One of Finn's favorite activities for the past three years or so has been climbing into his sleeping bag, balling up in the bottom (which he refers to as "getting organized") and having me drag him around the house pretending that we're going to exotic locales - like Australia. Or the Post Office.
I get to talk in funny accents about how we're boarding a plane for the southern hemisphere, as I drag him up and down the stairs or toss the entire sleeping bag up onto a couch. He in turn alternates between laughing uncontrollably and loudly yelling "OUCH!", depending on how much "turbulence" our current flight is experiencing and how much I'm slamming his head into the stairs and/or couch.
This game has gotten significantly less fun for me over time, even though Finn continues to demand it regularly. I still enjoy his efforts to get organized in the sleeping bag, but given that he now weighs roughly the same as a small horse, the dragging part is a chore.
Finn is paying the price for my lack of upper body strength.
Much more my speed these days is swinging Edie around and tossing her up in the air. For me, I mean. I'm not sure she enjoys it, given that she has a look of absolute terror on her face roughly 40% of the time and is constantly trying to avoid me.
Whatever. If she'd learn to walk, she'd be better at outrunning me. Unfortunately for her, she's taking her sweet time getting there. Unlike her brother who was a full-on drunken sailor by now, she has only taken a few steps and prefers furniture cruising to open space adventures.
Maybe I need to start chasing her more. If raising children has taught me anything, it's that terror is a great motivator.
Being short-sighted about this stuff makes parenting so much easier.