Sunday, March 30, 2008

Mama Don't Let Your Cowgirl Grow Up To Be Winehouse

Dylan's first Easter has come and gone and on the Parent Preparedness Scale, Regina and I scored about a 4. This means, basically, that we didn't do much more than put Dylan in a pretty dress and take her to the Pynes' Easter party. Once there Dylan entertained herself by playing in the plastic egg rubble left over from older kids breaking them open, pulling out cash or candy, and tossing them aside. Dylan loved the resulting mayhem and we loved that plastic eggs are too large to be ingested.

Dylan met a few more of her cousins and got a first-hand look at a large and chaotic Hanna family holiday party. We've talked her out of putting herself up for adoption, promising that we'll all be better behaved at the next function. The remainder of the day was spent crawling back and forth, back and forth on a step leading from the living to the family room. Great entertainment and now a step has been added to our remodel plans.

Since Easter, Dylan has discovered the music of Amy Winehouse. Regina picked up the CD recently and Dylan digs it. I don't know if it's the nod to 60s soul, or just songs about drinking and the effects thereafter that she likes, but every time Amy shuffles around on the hi-fi, Dylan goes into a little stand and crouch dance, and she waves her hands like she just don't care. We've dubbed her Baby Winehouse, despite the fact that she doesn't have the hair volume for a full beehive 'do -- yet. Frankly, I'd hoped she'd be more into Waylon Jennings or Willie Nelson. Man, the stuff kids listen to these days; I just don't get it. I blame Regina for singing Dylan to sleep to pop songs like "Umbrella," or "Rehab." Maybe I'll croon a little "Good Hearted Woman" during bath time to help expand her musical tastes. Until then, we'll just keep bobbing up and down in our goofy dance.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Yoplait and Rum, On the Rocks

When Regina was pregnant, veteran parents warned us about the slew of bizarre and inappropriate questions we would be asked. We were thrilled. We made a game of who could come up with the best reply to a ridiculous inquiry. There is nothing worse than being caught off-guard when is stupid question is thrown your way. Like when some turd-bucket cuts you off in traffic, flips you the bird, and yells, "What are you, stupid?" and all you can say in your defense is, "No, you are." It's important to plan for such events.

One of our favorite questions that we were never asked was, upon seeing Dylan with a bottle and a cans of formula in our grocery cart, "Why aren't you breast feeding?" Regina won a round in our imagined scenario game when she came up with, "Because I have no nipples."

Another question we'd prepared for like we were collegiate debate team competitors came to us from a friend as an actual event. When she was very pregant, one day in the grocery store, she was chastised by a stranger for having a case of diet soda in her cart. Diet soda. I mean, come on. Regina would have rubbed her giant belly and shrugged, "Baby needs a little splash in her bourbon." We liked this one so much that we roamed around aimlessly in Raley's, meeting the eyes of anyone who looked our way, just hoping they'd comment on the forty-seven cases of RC Cola in our cart.

The one scenario we thought we'd be ready for, but really weren't, was the name game. We've had people, upon hearing Dylan's name and gender, insist that we must be mistaken. Maybe it's the Carhartt coveralls, but they can't get it straight that Dylan is a girl. "Really?" they ask. "We're pretty sure," we reply as we peek into her diaper. We still haven't come up with a snappy reply, but the tough cashier at the local market helped us out the last time we were scrutinized. "You think they'd dress a boy in that much pink?" she snapped at the nosey idiot in line behind us. Regina and I just nodded our approval.

The most recent account of nosey-ness has come in the form of a tongue-lashing for feeding Dylan yogurt. Not yogurt n' hot dogs; not yogurt and Skittles; just fruity Yoplait, neat. Apparently, one ingredient in the Devil's food is a type of dye made from crushed beetle wings, or something like that. "You wouldn't feed your baby bugs, would you?" Lady, Regina thought, you should see half the crap Dylan puts in her mouth. "And then there's the corn syrup," the ugly hag spewed. Fortunately for the wanna-be nutritionist, we were in a church. Regina smiled and walked away and told me we were leaving, now, before some Shrek-lady got a Brazilian beat down.

We drove home, thinking of the perfect response to the yogurt-haters and watched Dylan in the rearview, gumming on something she no doubt found stuck to the bottom of her car seat.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Steppin' Ahead

One of the ancillary benefits of parenthood is the the mailbox jamming flow of catalogues we now receive. BD (Before-Dylan), it was a thrill and a joy to walk out to get the mail and find the Fall edition of Cabelas or, in Regina's case, this month's "Pretty Glamorous Wine House" magazine. Now we receive an avalanche of Baby! Baby! Baby! magazines and catalogues.

My favorite catalogue (now) is called "One Step Ahead" and generally features a fit guy on the cover who looks like he won best dressed in the psych ward. Our Spring Preview 2008 edition is loaded with gems and it reads, surprisingly, a lot like the Sky Mall you'll find in airplanes.

Along with cool gadgets like toddler-leashes and battery operated booger suckers, this season's issue has a few standouts. For example, the "Instant (cushy) Travel Crib." Sounds handy -- until you see that it's little more than mosquito netting over a frame that you place on top of your baby, like trapping a bug under a (breathable) jar. Great for trapping babies in the wild, but a little freaky in your own backyard.

Another favorite is, for $30, the "Baby B'Air," which connects your baby, through a vest and harness system, to your lap belt on an airplane. It claims to "hold baby safely on your lap during flight," but is, "not approved for taxi, takeoff, and landing." So, instead of just, you know, actually holding your baby with your arms during flight, you can strap your kid to your lap. This is useful for either people with no arms or for those who see air travel as their private cocktail hour and cannot be distracted from their gin and tonic.

My personal favorite, found on page 17, is the Wee Block. The heading reads, "Put a Lid on Li'l Squirts!" and is a product which looks like a colorful and miniature version of a catchers' cup. You place the block over your baby boy's weiner during diaper changes to prevent any kind of golden shower. It comes in "Li'l Squirt" or "Wee Wee Man," but I don't know the difference between the two styles. I assume it's a color difference, not an endowed difference.

Of course, all of you parents of boys might just be asking, "Where can I find the Wee Block?" As a father to a girl, pee-facials is one parenting joy I don't have to endure. And yes, I know, I've got it coming to me in about 12 years, but for now, I'm happy not getting peed on and I'm seriously checking out the "Spoon on a Spring" self feeder on page 35.