Two Wonderful Girls. One Day At A Time…

Archive for May, 2007

Home Alone

So Cherise and Iris took off for California on Friday to spend a couple of days camping before heading off to Lincoln to hang out with her parents. I’ll be heading down there to meet them later this week. This is a pretty big deal as Cherise flew with Iris and without me for the first time. Plus, camping with Iris is certainly a crapshoot that could be completely wonderful or completely disastrous. While I imagine Cherise’s adventures will make for a great future blog post, my own adventures during this time have also been unique. You see, I haven’t been home alone in a long time. Even last August when Cherise and Iris were in California tending to her dad while I was going back and forth, our friend Auste was still staying with us. This time, I am all alone. Can’t you just see the image of me as Macaulay Culkin? I knew I’d miss my ladies, but I also knew it’d be a nice experience for me. It was a little "me time" to catch up on things and whatever. Cherise suggested that I "enjoy the time and do all the things you couldn’t get done while we’re around." I’m pretty sure the unspoken second half of that advice was "but also would still allow you to still be married after I get back". So I cancelled all my wild parties and charted a safer course.

After dropping Cherise and Iris off at the airport Friday morning, the day was like any other day. I stayed at work a little longer than I might normally on a Friday, but eventually checked out and drove home. I stopped off to go shopping as I usually don’t have much time to shop (not counting Amazon.com). Perhaps I should worry about my masculinity when my first instinct for my temporary bachelorhood was to go shopping. When I got home, I popped open a beer and watched the Orioles game on Tivo (ahh, feeling the testosterone flowing back into the system). It was nice to just sit back, relax, and think of nothing but the game. After the game, I even watched an episode of the Sopranos, something usually reserved for my Zune on my commute because it’s not exactly good for impressionable children or squemish wives (ahh, there we go–masculinity fully restored). Later, I hopped on the PC to do e-mail and catch up with a few friends. I lost track of time and went to bed at 2am. After all, I wouldn’t need to deal with any 6am toddler wake-up call.

Saturday, I woke up and realized I longed for my 6am toddler wake-up call. Don’t get me wrong–I love the extra sleep, but I guess I’ve gotten used to the pouty face of the little munchkin that was crabby until she got her morning milk (much like her dad and his morning coffee). With no kid to entertain, I hopped on the PC and took care of a bunch of bills while listening to Linkin Park’s new album. Not only could I crank it up, but I could listen to the "Explicit Lyrics" version since I wasn’t a parent this weekend. Meanwhile, I had my list of ToDos. Get in a 7-mile run. Get the car’s oil changed. Find an external hard drive for my PC. Hit the batting cages. Teach myself a new computer programming language. The usual stuff for a wild & crazy bachelor. It was nice to take care of these things and do so in peace. Plus, the house has never been cleaner (no toys strewn about), I can leave the toilet seat up (who knew how much I’d miss that?), and I don’t have to worry about leaving a stray glass of wine or beer on a table (you NEVER do that when Iris is around). But everywhere were reminders of my little munchkin. I’d see a child stumbling along while holding her mom’s hand and think of Iris. I’d hear a cry of "daddy" and turn around looking for Iris. I’d even keep extra quiet around the house at times, a second nature reaction to assuming Iris is sleeping when things are quiet. A year ago, I think I would’ve really enjoyed this time as she was so exhausting and the special moments that provided positive validation were spread out much more. But nowadays, she’s got so much personality and the new things (like multi-sylabble words and random new games) come so fast and furious that I mark the days by her progress. I also miss Cherise, not only as a wonderful companion, but also watching her interact with Iris. It’s amazing how much I rely on that teamwork and effort to raise a child as providing meaning for my life. That used to be my career. Not any more.

So, I look forward to seeing Cherise and Iris. I watch the Mother’s Day video to remind me of what I’m missing. By the way, that was made in the hours of midnight-2am over a few nights in the week before Mother’s Day while Cherise was asleep and I confess I nearly broke down in tears of joy several times while putting it together. I really do have a beautiful family. I’m practicing my "BeekBoo" (Peek-a-boo) and exercising my back (she’s getting to be a big girl and I’m getting really sore). It’s true that absence makes the heart grow fonder. I’ve still never done anything as exhausting as spending time with my daughter, but I’ve come to realize she gives me more than I give her and I expect the deficit to only grow as the years go on. Farewell loud Linkin Park and big screen Sopranos. Papa’s got a brand new bag.

Happy Mother's Day 2007

 
The bigger version of the video is available by clicking on this link.
 
Meanwhile, here’s another Mother’s Day Poem From Iris (with help from Dad):
 
It’s May 2007, another Mother’s Day is here again I
 asked Dad to write this because I still can’t use a pen

It’s been 19 months and I’ve got it pretty good.

Sometimes I may not be as grateful as I know I should.

So this is my chance to thank you through poetic rhymes

for things like asking for milk at most inconvenient times.

Or waking up at 5AM ready to play when you’d rather sleep.

I understand the fatigue, but mom, must you always weep?

You take me to Gymboree and we get to play with Jimbo the clown

then I fall asleep in the car as you drive around town.

You teach me a lot, like how to clean a spill with a mop.

Or that a doggie goes "woof" and a bunny goes "hophophop".

You feed me meat, like chicken, beef, and many more

With a veggie mom, who’d have thought I’d be such a carnivore?

And now baths are fun, even washing my hair.

You wash me while I wash my Pooh bear.

The day ends calmly, with me watching you cook

and then we read daddy his favorite bedtime book.

And you still do other stuff to keep your mind exercising

Like doing your Yoga or working to help Mom’s Rising

I may not even be 2, but one thing is clear to see.

When I reach 18, I know who my role model will be.

Daddy’s not bad either and he keeps you pretty happy.

But seriously, can you tell him to quit beings so sappy?

I know he has a lot of caffeine thanks to all that soda.

But any more kissing and he’ll be way over his quota.

Still, he’s OK since he does take me for long walks.

He lets me pick my pants and the color of my socks.

Yep, this family’s pretty fun and I think I’ll stick around.

For better or for worse, you’ll have to keep calling me a Khaund.

I’m new to Mother’s Day, so hopefully this wasn’t too bad.

If you didn’t like it, I’m just a kid so blame dad.

So on your day, I say thank you for doing your part.

Hapy Mother’s Day! I love you with all my heart.

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