As a stay-at-home dad, I don’t get a lot of downtime. If my newborn son is asleep or chilling in the swing, my daughter is likely to be painting the walls with strawberry yogurt or balancing atop a rocking chair to reach an out of reach picture frame. Conversely, if my daughter is down for a nap or watching Wild Kratts, my son is screaming for a bottle or whining about being in his saucer for too long. It’s exhausting, and accelerating the graying of my luxuriant hair. But every so often I do manage to get a bit of a break—even when little Zachary is awake. So what did I decide to do with that precious time?
It’s Halloween Time at the Miller Home. I’ve got my front yard all decorated with spooky bits. My living room is adorned with spooky bits. And there are spooky bits in the kitchen too, thanks to my ingenious idea to make jack o’ lanterns out of construction paper with my 2-year-old Audrey.
It was pretty simple really. I cut out the shapes and had Audrey glue them together. It was an easy, mostly clean way of spending some time together while also preparing for the holiday. Just as I had planned. Genius! One thing I hadn’t planned on, however, was that Audrey would immediately identify a handful of the pumpkins as looking like her closest family members.
So after many late nights spent sweating over a hot computer, here it is: my first “drawing” for my newborn son. Like with my art for Audrey, I kept up the timeless theme of exploration! And, as you can see, it’s full of hot air. Just like me.
It was Saturday night. The possum that had invaded and terrorized my house the night before was encased within my basement wall. The trap that we borrowed from a friend was patiently lying in wait for the beast. The worst that could happen is that it would just stay in there, die, and stink up the place.
So I went to bed. That was that.
Three hours later I woke up to relieve myself. Discovering my wife was already in the bathroom, I waited impatiently for my turn to arrive. The house was the sort of dark and quiet you’d expect from 3 o’clock in the morning. But that would not last for long. When my turn came I shuffled into the bathroom silently and did my duty in the dark. Had I turned on the light, I might have noticed it sooner. Instead many seconds passed before the possum caught my eye.
It was sitting in my daughter’s plastic training potty. It was looking at me.
I had never been to a spray park until recently. Oh sure, I’ve driven past them, but frankly they always seemed like some place I had best avoid. All the spraying “water” and frolicking children…they just looked like giant bacteria frappes.
But now that I’m home with my 2-year-old every day, it’s been over 90 degrees outside with high humidity for what seems like forever, and there just happens to be a spray park right at the end of my block, well…
I decided it was finally time to try the frappe for myself.