Sunday, August 31, 2008

Poops and Boobs

Lately, we've let Dylan run around in her nudie. She digs the sunshine and it beats changing diapers. But, without a diaper on, sometimes we get little stinky surprises. I came home from work last week and Regina told me, "Dylan pooped on the 4-wheeler," which, I thought, meant that Dylan pooped in her diaper while going for a Polaris ride. It actually meant that Dylan pooped on the 4-wheeler. We hosed it off before Greg needed it for irrigating.

The last "incident" involved our cat, Jesse. He walked a little to close to our baby-fountain and got a nice pee-bath on his head. The cat hated it, but the rest of us thought it was pretty funny.

Today we made sure Dylan's diaper was snug and went for a drive on a Siskiyou County backroad. We crossed over the Trinities and into Shasta Valley and ended up at Stewart Springs. It's a little enclave for hippies who want to swim in warm sulfur water, sleep in a tee-pee, and meditate, naked, next to a creek. Why it's so special, I have no idea.

We stopped there to let Dylan out of her carseat and give the dogs a pee break. Even though my wife and daughter were with me, I was excited at the prospect of seeing nude women. I had "Sirens" pictured in my mind (the movie where Elle Macpherson is naked in every scene). My heart raced as I caught a glimpse of naked flesh as we pulled in, but to be honest, I couldn't tell the men from the women. I pointed at one attractive specimen who sat in the lotus position on a large rock and asked Regina, "Is that a chick or a dude?" "Shhh," she said.

There were nudies meditating around the creek like sunbathing seals. Dylan ran and screamed and laughed and when I sneaked a peak back toward the creek (maybe this time I could distinguish between the vegan-men and the macro-biotic women) they'd scattered like a Great White shark had spawned upstream. I guess Dylan's whoops and hollers spooked them. I just shrugged as Boo and Scout marked the tires on every Prius around us.

As we drove away, I took one last hopeful look back. Bad move. All I saw was a very male nude body. I focused back on the road in front of me, Regina laughed, and I think Dylan wondered if the dude in his nudie was going to poop on the rocks.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to the Bay

At nearly sixteen months old, we decided that Dylan was finally emotionally ready for a visit to her homeland. No, we didn't go to Ireland or Brasil, rather, we took her to Oakland to see the Raider Nation. And even though we didn't get her on the "Got a little Raider in you?" billboards, nor did Al Davis come through on his lunch meeting with her, I bravely scouted out McAfee Coliseum (okay, I went to an A's game with Maddock), for safe places to hide during a Raiders brawl, I mean game.

This was just a quick Bay trip, and we tried our best to see as many friends as we could in a few days. One of the highlights for Dylan was dinner out at our friends', Perry and Lisa, home. We turned their quiet neighborhood into a block party when I sent out an "all invited" email to everyone in my address book. Fortunately, the Monroes are too kind to turn away starving guests and the welcomed (and fed) a whole passel of our friends.

Every couple that came to dinner had a kid, none older than 2 1/2, with Dylan being the youngest. I got to really demonstrate my kick-ass father skills when I let my attention drift (oooh, pretty colors) and let Dylan roll down a flight of stairs. They were a short, carpeted flight of stairs, and my friend Matt assured me that, "babies are extremely limber and enjoy rolling down stairs," although I don't think Regina bought it.

When I wasn't diligently watching my daughter, I sat back and watched my friends, guys who used to have trouble remembering to wear underwear inside their pants, change poopy diapers with one hand and eat a cheeseburger with the other. I was impressed.

Our little monkeys played together extremely well. Maybe it was the spirit of the Olympics that overcame them, or maybe the Benadryl that we put in their ice cream, but no one got socked, shoved, or sent to the hospital. It's probably because we're all amazing people and we've instilled noble values into our children. Or luck.

We ended our trip with some friends who have two small boys. Dylan, of course, thought she was back in Scott Valley with her daycare homies and had a blast. Instead of going out for drinks and a nice meal (probably in that order), we had take out and hot chocolate and watched the Olympics.

The trip was over before we knew it. Dylan waved "bye-bye" to Malcom, Lauren, Jonah, Spencer, and Danny. We promised our friends that we'd come down more often and Dylan promised her new little buddies that she'd host the next North State Raider Nation BBQ and Stair Rolling Competition.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Fair Time, Fun Time

My father served on the local fair board for thirteen decades, and, naturally, I grew up as a fair kid. As a director's son, I received all the perks. My VIP wristband let me into a world seen by few children. I knew the carnies by name (and prison number), I could select the finest corndog stand by smell alone, I'd pick the Grand Champion pen of rabbits then go backstage with Waylon Jennings and tell fair stories. All this before I turned twelve. I walked on air (or cotton candy clouds) during fair-time.

But, once those five days in August were through, I was back to being just another ranch kid and the VIP bracelet I still clung to was worn and faded and had usually given me a rash.

This year, Dylan got to experience the joy of being a director's daughter. We strapped on her VIP bracelet and ran to the first ride we could find. We laughed and waved from our circling carousel horses and were living the dream. Until the unimaginable happened -- the ride stopped. She held up her little arm and showed the carnie her red VIP band, but it was no use. We had to dismount our plastic steeds and go. That didn't go over well.

Once her tears dried, we gave the FFA barns a shot. "Cows?" Dylan asked, looking at me like I was stupid. "Please, I see cows every day. Ooh, Mooo. Give me a break."

The petting zoo was fun, but mostly because there was sawdust on the floor (and little round goat poops) and we could roll around like hamsters. The animals (goats and deer) were old hat. Same goes for the Budweiser Clydesdales. Regina and I were in awe of the massive horses; Dylan was just mad that her wristband didn't give her access to the inside of their stalls.

The only two things that held Dylan's attention were the sandbox in Kids' Town and the slightly freaky juggling, unicycling guy. She was really into his corny jokes and beanbag tossing skills, but I felt weird and awkward watching him, so we ran back to Kids' Town.

After two days of fair time, Dylan told us that while baby goats are very cute and corndogs are delicious, it was time to move on. She handed in her VIP bracelet and threw her dusty and snowcone stained clothes into the hamper. On the other hand, I can't let go. My bracelet is still on, but my wrist is really starting to itch.