August 5, 2009

The Word

On Sunday evening, coughing, stuffy yet unwilling to blow her nose, Mia fell asleep to the strains of Frankie Valli. She's obsessed with musicals, you see. And to her, right now, Grease is the word.

For some mysterious reason, Mia refuses to blow her nose once the sun has set. Perhaps she's hoarding snot for the apocalypse. Who knows. So sprinkled throughout the evening on Sunday were frustrated cries from her room. I'd go up, calm her down, and she'd be set for a half hour, maybe more, maybe less. The writhing in frustration began around 10:00. I scooped her up and we went to snuggle in the guest room. We were there the rest of the night.

Monday found everyone much improved. Mia was in rare form, putting on a show which sounded straight out of vaudeville. She called it Lady Sasha and Her Educated Monkeys. There was singing and dancing but we were a little unclear how the educated monkeys factored into the whole thing. Then a saleslady knocked and Mia was very frustrated that I wouldn't let her (Mia, not the saleslady) stand in front of the door in her (again, Mia, not the saleslady) underwear. This prompted a conversation about the appropriateness of wearing underwear in public and the differences between what women and men can get away with wearing - or not wearing - outside the house. Somehow all that led to both children playing what was, for them, a tremendously hilarious game involving my nipples and the pinching thereof. We will not be playing that game anytime soon.

Yet despite the better moods and healthier attitudes, the entire process played itself out again on Monday night. Frankie Valli, humidifiers, snuggles in the guest room. Later, rinse, repeat. Around 11:00, I got the call from Mia that it was time to move into the guest room to snuggle. So that's what we did.

I want things to be good, people to be healthy and everyone to be happy. When I can't make that happen, I get incredibly frustrated. So it's an intense experience when my kids are sick, when I can't snap my fingers and make everything better. But then, thinking back, I know that I did make things better. We cuddled and as we did, her breathing slowed, got deeper, her coughing stopped and miraculously, she slept.

I spent a long time as a dad wondering what, aside from a penis, sperm and an income, I was around for. Because mom is the go-to when you're under a certain age. But now, I'm Mia's go-to when she's sick, when she can't sleep, when she wants to tell me about all the evil things her mom made her do (like eat carrots, the sadistic woman!). And that need has to be pretty much the most fulfilling thing ever.

Dad. That's the word.

What's your word today?

Posted by Chris at August 5, 2009 6:30 AM

That's really beautiful. You're a great Dad!
Me? Puppy Granny. Yep. Just 3 1/2 more weeks until Greta is due for her babies!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 5, 2009 6:59 AM

My word for the day? MUGGY. Also known as Hazy, Hot and Humid; Stuffy; Sticky; and hotter than Hell.
I hope Mia's feeling better. There's not much worse than a summer cold. Especially when it's HOT!

Posted by: NancyJ at August 5, 2009 8:15 AM

My word for today is, "Braaaaaaaaaains."

Yeah, I'm feeling a little bit like a zombie. :p

Posted by: Hope at August 5, 2009 8:34 AM

I'd say "Mom" but that would be like copying you so I'll say rutabaga instead.

Seriously - that's a touching post, you are an fabulous dad. Kids are the best at making you feel ten feet tall at times, aren't they? Elliot, who is almost 6, has just started turning to his dad for stuff rather than me. My husband loves it, but it makes me kind of sad, sniff, sniff. I was late for work this morning because my kids were being so stinkin' cute I couldn't get out of the house!

Posted by: Elizabeth at August 5, 2009 8:45 AM

NEVER EVER think that you don't play a huge role in your kids lives. I just finalized an adoption for a five year old little boy who told that judge that the "very bestest part" of being in in his family is having a dad. He was sold by his mother to pay off a drug debt in Alabama and somehow he got to Michigan. He didn't speak in his first foster home and his words were spoken to his foster father who became his adopted dad.

Posted by: Dee at August 5, 2009 9:01 AM

Paint. My nephew's visiting from the land of maple leaves and universal health care, and to earn his keep on this extended visit we are alternating between sight-seeing and painting. Today we did the first coat on a bookshelf unit and the second coat on the bathroom vanity, we sanded built-in shelves ready to paint and bought wall paint for my son's room. It's paintapalooza!

Posted by: Jo MacD at August 5, 2009 9:05 AM

My word for today is 'cottage'. As in where I'm headed tonight for four wonderful days in which I hope to do nothing but swim and read and drink lovely beverages and play with my daughters and forget the flooded basement/insurance/sinhole in the front yard. Ahhhhhh.

Posted by: alison at August 5, 2009 9:10 AM

Oops, that should have read "sinkhole". Hmmm. Yeah, "sinkhole". Much less embarassing.

Posted by: alison at August 5, 2009 9:12 AM

Let me know when you hear more about the Educated Monkeys. They sound fabulous.

Posted by: Heather at August 5, 2009 9:25 AM

My 4 year old niece is also obsessed with musicals. She's been watching Mama Mia since Christmas.

My word today? Cold. The A/C in my office is out of control.

Posted by: Jaime at August 5, 2009 9:26 AM

I'm STILL obsessed with musicals. Try Paint Your Wagon. Seriously, I can still sing all the songs. Every. Single. One.

Posted by: k8 at August 5, 2009 9:40 AM


Posted by: William at August 5, 2009 9:58 AM

APPRECIATION. That's my word. We should all make a habit of appreicating all the good in our lives. I think it's safe to say that you totally appreciate all you have, especially your amazing family.
Hope Mia's feeling 100% again soon :)

Posted by: LaineyDid at August 5, 2009 11:05 AM

Wow. Your posts blow me away somedays. And today was no exception.

This insight into the role of a dad is wonderful! I love how much you adore your family and how eloquent you are in sharing that love with us.

My word today is Husband. This past year has been a journey of repair. We are working on it. Some days, I will admit to being jealous of his relationship with our daughter. She is at the age, she completely milks it and is in a power struggle with me. I say no, she charms him into saying yes, etc...

Well, today he called in the am (a rarity) from work just to tell me to have a great day! So, I am just happy to have that LOVE!

Have a great day!

Posted by: debb at August 5, 2009 11:56 AM

Today I am tied between Husband and Dad...I am fighting a bad sinus infection/cold and they have both called first chance they got to see how I was feeling and ask if I needed them to do anything.

Never underestimate the power of a Dad! I won't say father because anyone can be a father, it takes someone very special to be a Dad!

Posted by: Krush at August 5, 2009 12:42 PM

Job. As in "FIND ME ONE!"

Posted by: Stephanie at August 5, 2009 2:06 PM

My word for the day?


I'm going thru some stuff right now and I'm TRYing to be optimistic, I'm TRYing to learn from it, and I'm TRYing to still get through each day with the balance tipped mostly in the favor of things goign well.

Posted by: Sarah at August 5, 2009 2:19 PM


Posted by: alektra at August 5, 2009 9:05 PM

For a child that cannot or is unwilling to blow their nose, there is nothing better than a nasal aspirator, or as we referred to it when my son was a child -- the 'boogersnatcher'. They even have battery operated ones that play music!

So, my word is 'boogersnatcher'.

Posted by: coolchick at August 5, 2009 10:07 PM

my word. is bird

Have you heard about the bird?

B-b-b-bird bird bird is the word...

But seriously my word, is humid. Really effin' humid. And as a woman who currently welds together Broadway scenery for a living, let me be the first to tell you that, 90 degree weather when you have to wear long sleeves, long pants, a hat, and a little helmet that creates your very own box of sweat? Is no fun. No fun at all

Posted by: Dani at August 5, 2009 10:33 PM

My word today? Grounded. I'm two for three, and it's only 1:30.

Posted by: Mr Lady at August 8, 2009 4:29 PM

Wrong day, as I am catching up on the summer's archives-
but today 'F**kin-hell' was my word, at least for a while. I said it to myself a lot as I stamped and army marched pissedly down the surf-line in the dark, balling up one fist (the other was carrying sneakers), frightening stray children, and thinking how much I'd like to punch three people right in the nose.
When that many people push me that far past my limit, for one it is pretty funny to watch a pissed off short person walking very fast-
and for two it's better if I stomp it off in private.
All better now!

Posted by: Karen at August 16, 2009 12:18 AM