The other day , I made a discovery.
If I play with Arthur really hard for about two hours, he'll fall asleep. If I plan my play time right, he'll fall asleep when I want him to.
Nobody told me that becoming a parent meant becoming a master at manipulation.
I also learned that the heartbeat bear has an inexorable affect in the evening. Turn it on, put Arthur in the crib, and bamm, he's asleep. So far it's Arthur zero, HB Bear six. It works like a charm. This can be a good thing when it's been a long day and it's 7:30 PM.
In slightly different news, Arthur has learned the "throw the rattle on the floor so Dad picks it up game. " I'm very conscious of this one. I think I'm going to start a one-two-three rule or something and not pick it up after the third time. I suppose that this means that I'll have to remember where I am in the rattle count.
I had to laugh this weekend. Mark is a real sweetie and takes the brunt of childcare over the weekend. So I shouldn't laugh, but the event went something like this:
Scene: The living room, near the entrance to the kitchen.
Arthur (for no fathomable reason): "Waaaah. WaaA WaaA WaaA!"
Muriel (because she's just come in and now she wants to go out): "Meow. Meoow. Meoow."
Mark (Holding Arthur): "Augh! I'm surrounded by whining creatures!"
John (reaching for the Calgon): "Welcome to my world."
You know, I've never really seen satori on someone else's face before.
Last Sunday was Arthur's first real hike. OK, maybe it was his second hike, but we don't think he trip to Yosemite Valley counts as he was only about four weeks old at the time and we only hiked between parking lots and sights.
We went on a very nice trail with lots of trees and leaves for Arthur to look at. Arthur is in for some big time betrayal when winter rolls around and all the leaves are gone. In fact, just yesterday he scowled at the barren tree branches on our Library walk.
People give you the strangest looks when you're pushing a baby cart. Their behavior changes. Either they look at you as if to say, "Dude, why don't you get a real job," or else they generate a demeanor one usually finds in a church and they utter something completely smarmy, like, "that's a precious cargo you've got there." It's not just Eugene, either; Roseburg bench bums stopped swearing when we walked by them. And it seems like I'm making more new best friends every time I go to check out a new book or DVD.
Today, for example, there I was, walking down 10th street toward the Eugene Library, when this guy started talking to me. He had white hair pulled back into a ponytail. He saw the pram, saw Arthur "So, is this your grandkid?" he asked. Something in my stance must have tipped him off that he'd asked the gay male equivalent of asking a weight-concious woman "So, when are you expecting?" Mark figures I must have given him The Scowl. He quickly amended "-- or your kid?"
For those of you who need help with the math, in order for Arthur to be my grandkid, at the minimum I'd have to be 32 years old (flattering on some levels, but wildly wrong on others given my status as a science geek in high school). At the other end of the scale, a more reasonabe assumption would be to do some sort of 25 - 25 or even 28 - 28 combination of ages. This makes me either 50 or 56 years old. Even in an age where "30 is the new 20, and 20 is the new 10", that still means that "50 is the new 40." Since I'm celebrating the 16th anniversary of my 25th birthday this December, I'm really not getting much out of this after all the assumptions and "new math."
Do I look like someone who's 50 or even 56? Or maybe I looked like my new best friend, who confessed the music his son listened to in the seventies was The Greatful Dead.
I'm not sure, but I think I've never been so insulted in all my life.
I'd ask Mark if I look like someone's 56 year old grandfather, except I'm pretty sure that he'll say something along the lines of, "Honey, that guy was blind; you look like a lesbian art teacher."