Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Poo Juice

I'd fully anticipated the title of this post to be something like, "Boy, Ten Months, Foregoes Crawling and Walking for Running!" or "Grady Jay and the Twenty Teeth."  I mean, he's ten months, at some point here our odds have to be pretty good that he'll cut a tooth (4:1 odds in Vegas) or crawl (a longshot at 9:1) soon.  Instead, he's perfectly content being toothless and stationary.  We don't mind, Dylan's active enough for two and Grady makes for a really cute baby.

There are so many great things about having a baby around that they make the grueling stuff bearable.  But, there are some thing I won't miss.  There are the obvious things: changing poopy diapers, watching Grady rub food in his eyes and hair when he's both tired and hungry, remembering the diaper bag for every outing, and the 2:00 AM parties in his crib.  I think, given some time, we'll even look back on those things with fondness, or will have scrubbed them from our memories altogether.

There are a few less obvious things that we won't miss.  Babies are fun to hold, right?  Yes, and Grady is a great hugger and snuggler, but when your baby weighs as much as a big sack of Costco rice, pretty soon your shoulders look like Serena Williams' and your back feels like the cobblestones in Pamplona.  Also, it took some time, but I'm at a point where I really don't mind changing diapers.  I don't crave it, and I still employ some great evasive techniques whenever I smell a big diaper bomb ("I'd better go check the... [hay, horses, still]").  But what I really won't miss, more than anything, is the Diaper Genie.

If you don't know, the Diaper Genie is a semi-air-tight garbage can for diapers.  We use ours, primarily, for the poopy ones, so when it's full, it's literally a festering tube of rotting crap.  It's horrible.  Yesterday, I shoved an especially full diaper through the plastic jaws and into the tube, but it was full.  The sensical thing would have been to open it up, remove the full plastic tube of diapers, tie off the plastic and start new.  The country thing to do is forcefully shove the diaper into the full tube.  You know what happens when you do that?  Poo Juice.  Yes.  The solids and fluids inside those fermenting diapers leak, and when they get compresses, the fluids rise and you get poo juice on your hand.

It's the last remaining thing about infancy that gags me.  But if that's all I can't handle, we'll let Grady stay a baby for as long as he likes.  And if you're in Vegas, put a twenty down on a bottom tooth by July.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

The First Weekend in May

There aren't too many weekends that match the sports spectacle of the first weekend in May.  The Kentucky Derby and the May Rodeo always fall on the first Saturday and Sunday, respectively, and they're both big events around here.  I know, those can't match the hype of March Madness or the Super Bowl, or even the T20 World Cricket Finals, but they're even better.  Trust me.

In 1973, I watched Secretariat win the Triple Crown, I was two and a half, and "Secretariat" became my favorite word.  I've tried to continue the tradition and get Dylan excited about the Derby, but her short attention span can't last through the three hours of pre-race hype.  Hell, my short attention span can't last that long.  But, I did get her to watch Mind That Bird's 50:1 upset win last year and I bribed her to sit down, finally, as the horses entered the gate this year.  Calvin Borel  is our new hero -- although I'm worried that she'll yell, "Ride the rail, Borel" to any adult male who is under 5'3''.

The other tradition is the May Rodeo.  It's the first local rodeo of the year and I grew up riding in its parade and getting bucked off by its calves.  For months, Dylan has been telling us that she was going to ride a sheep.  The thought seems harmless enough, riding a big fuzzy sheep is like sitting of a soft cloud. But I know the scary truth; I've been helping parents pry their children's fingers from the top rail of the chutes and putting them on the backs of pissed off lambs for the past ten years.  Mutton Bustin' is like being a passenger on the back of a runaway dirt bike.  Sooner, and not later, the kids fall off, face first, in the arena dirt.  There are always tears, often blood, and not much reward except the Queen gives you a silver dollar, which, to little kids, might as well be a shiny stone.

Greg was always against his daughters riding sheep -- not for any kind of righteous-cattle-rancher reasons -- but for simply practical ones.  I thought he was crazy.  Mutton Bustin' is nuthin' but fun!  Right?  Then I started paying attention to what happened after the terrified kids left the chute, and then I had a daughter.  I told Dylan she could ride a sheep, but I dragged my feet.  Besides, I figured she'd chicken out once she saw the reality of it.  So, I took her behind the chutes, and we stood on the catwalk and peered down into the bucking chutes at the lambs.  Her confidence didn't waver and she still wanted to ride, so I had my friend set her on the back of one, just to get a feel for it.  She still insisted that she was having fun, then the sheep moved.  Just a little, but she knew it wasn't anything like sitting on the back of a horse and she wanted off.  Viola!  My plan worked.

The rest of the day was spent watching the show.  I skipped out on my normal rodeo duties and enjoyed the rodeo from the back of a flat-bed.  Dylan spent the day eating.  When I asked about her favorite part of the rodeo, she said, "The dip."

Grady got passed around until he hit nap time, then, like a good cowboy, fell asleep on the front seat of the truck.  Dylan wasn't too far behind.  The dirt, snowcones, and excitement wore us all out, but I think Dylan's officially hooked on rodeos and now she can't wait until the last Saturday in July so she can Mutton Bust again, if only for a few seconds.