October 9, 2007


Tonight Julia is off doing grown up things, leaving me (however unwisely) in charge of the child.

6:30- We eat dinner. Sort of. By eat dinner I mean that I set food in front of Grace, which she plays with for awhile, but refuses to eat. This is par for the course. So far I am not a failure as a parent. We are however very excited by peas ("peez") and eat a few of them.

6:40- We go out to walk the dog, Grace strapped to my back in the Ergo. Grace is very helpful in holding the plastic bag should any business be taken care of by Abbey. ("Poo poo" is a favorite word. As I discovered last night it's exceptionally hilarious if you can get her to whisper it to you.)

6:47- We talk on a toy cell phone left by our babysitter. I am not sure what message this is sending our daughter. Grace clamps her finger in the clamshell halves. I kiss it, unsure of whether or not I am a failure yet or not.

6:50- Grace chases the dog ("Aaa") around and tries to hold the phone up to her massive doggy head. Dog is amazingly tolerant of this, but uninterested in talking on the beeping Minnie Mouse cell phone. I cannot blame her. Earlier finger trauma seems forgotten. My prospects of being a successful father are restored.

6:52- Grace holds on to a blanket and waves it frantically around while throwing little toy children up in the air. Soon this gives way to putting the blanket in my lap, pointing at it, and grunting incomprehensible baby noises. I am unclear on what I am meant to do.

7:01- Grace flaps her arms up and down as if a bird. Unable to fly she resorts to gathering toys and piling them up on the stairs. I throw the blanket over her head a great many times. It does not get old.

7:09- Grace attempts to type on this laptop. She is disturbingly proficient at using the mouse. Typing becomes difficult. Thankfully our attention span is very short and we go back to playing with foam block thingies.

7:14- We spend some quality time with said foam block thingies. They have cutouts in the center of them with various shapes. We try to put the shapes back into their proper squares. Grace masters ball, all else is up to me. Grace seems awed by my seemingly mystical ability to get a shape back into its square with one good push.

7:17- We put the foam squares back into the toybox.

7:19- We get the foam squares out of the toybox.

7:29- After making me put all the pieces in the squares we put the foam squares back in the toybox.

7:30- We get the foam squares out of the toybox.

7:37- Grace runs the foam inserts in and out of the kitchen. They seem to enjoy the tour.

7:39- Minnie Mouse is calling Grace again. I am allowed to browse the internet.

7:44- Browsing is over. My job of putting foam cutouts in their squares is needed.

7:48- Foam squares are put back in the toybox. I smell something fairly noxious.

7:49- Grace checks out clean in the diaper department. I narrow my eyes at the dog.

8:00- I ask Grace if she wants to go night-night. She repeats "night-night". I am not sure if she knows what she's saying. However, she then points up at the stairs, so I feel reassured.

9:15- I return downstairs. The last hour and 15 minutes have consisted primarily of me practicing for a job with the CIA. After torturing my own child by refusing to pick her up when she is in “I don’t want to sleep in my crib” distress for about an hour, I feel well equipped to waterboard terrorism suspects. How much harder can it be? Eventually Grace caves and falls asleep, I count it a small victory that she still wanted to be held by me until the bitter end, despite the fact that I was clearly a horrible and uncaring parent.

9:45ish- Julia returns. All is set back to right in the world. Until next time.