weekend gone
new week begins
rinse and repeat....
rinse and repeat
repeat again if you do so desire
those of us with no hair..... we can save on the shampoo and conditioner and spend our money elsewhere

another weekend behind me
another work week has begun
another tic of the clock somehow adds up to be another seven days on the calendar

last weekend was very similar to the weekends past...

worked late on friday night bringing me home just as the boys were winding up their baths
which allowed me to aid in getting the dressed and into bed
only after the requisite..... no splashing in the tub.... I said.... no splashing in the tub
Grant with his kisses, his waves goodbye, and his new found love for foot steps
walking just weeks past one
Dean with his need to be coerced into going to bed, he can be such a riddle, always wanting to be solved.... never wanting to be simple...
in Dean's mind... everything is up for negotiation

Dean was read a few books then tried to weasel his way back downstairs....

"read me another story"
I just read you "another story"
"read me just one last story"
the last story was your one last story
as it was one more story than we agreed
I would read you
"I am scared of the dark"
no you are not scared of the dark... back to bed Dean
"I need to go to the bathroom"
okay.... go to the bathroom.... then back to bed
"I want to come downstairs with you"
back to bed Dean

this process can continue until everyone involved is entirely exhausted

actually... this process occurs nearly every night until both sides are entirely exhausted
it is exhausting
not complaining.... just describing

once both boys were down and asleep there was time for a glass or two of red wine
okay, maybe three glasses of red wine or just two really big ones
red wine aids in losing the day and losening up all the anxiety which is life

red wine..... good in the evening.... bad the next morning
always trying to find that perfect balance
almost always going a little too far and falling over the edge

saturday morning usually comes with a blink of an eye
head to the pillow then time to get up
as if someone has changed the clock
then sometimes that blink of an eye is cut in half by some mid night trauma... a wet bed, a bad dream, or something randomly insignificant as needing a particular toy

unsure if that blink was cut short...

either way after a short night's sleep it is morning and time to be dad again
lisa is up and about motoring around with Dean and Grant as I try to steal that last second of shut eye
lisa is a machine.... some sort of high powered machine.... high powered super efficient machine
with a gentle nudge lisa gets me out of bed so she can go to yoga
with lisa off to yoga it is my duty to walk the dogs and entertain the boys
easy enough
breakfast bars all around then out the door
well, easy enough... out the door after everyone gets suited up for a wet winter morning
snow suits all around!
grant is so stuffed in all of his gear he can not walk or crawl

with the boys dressed and the dogs leashed we drive down to Pierce Mill in a hope to cut through the Melvin Hazen for some sledding at Klingle Mansion....


mother nature has been kind and cruel all in the same motion
she can give and she can take away
that snow that covered the earth just days ago has now been taken away by some pleasant sunshine
well, other than a few random patches of snow in the open areas there was still good coverage in the woods
so with Grant in the backpack and Dean on the sled I went up and down the trails of the Melvin Hazen
the hill at Klingle Mansion was also patchy and not worth sledding

so back into the woods where the dogs ran free
up and down the hill
in and out of the near freezing water
after the trails I took Grant out of the backpack and put him in the sled with his brother
then towed them both in circles as I ran as fast as I could on what snow remained at Pierce Mill
loaded the Element then zipped across town for the changing of the guard
Lisa walked out with yoga mat in hand, we exchanged a few words and exchanged the keys
my turn for yoga... lisa's turn to entertain the boys.... my turn for some yoga

back to the house to the age old riddle, "what do we do now?"
saturday afternoon was a mess
toys were thrown everywhere
dean was feeling less than productive
stuck in a funk
not wanting to do anything
not wanting to play productively
not wanting to go to the zoo
ask him what he wanted to do....
and his three year old response was nothing shy of adolescent..."I don't want to do anything"
then.... anything you suggest gets a no
dean do you want to go to the zoo?
dean do you want to walk up to the park?
"dean do you want to go for a hike in the woods with the dogs?
dean do you want to....

finally lisa was able to coerce him into riding his bike while she pushed grant in the stroller

I tried to take a nap, but had no luck
foolishly lied down during a window of opportunity, but Dean had all sorts of questions
which required my attention but did not require any real answers
window of opportunity closed

no time and no ambition for a bike ride
guess I will make myself useful and tidy up after hurricane dean
for some strange reason I concentrate on grouping toys...
army men with army men... legos with legos... lincoln logs with lincoln logs
baby toys over here
balls in this basket
costumes, masks, helmets, and hats in this boxy container
a few broken toys into the trash
only a few... I hate to throw anything away

that night lisa and I had the pleasure of a double date
off to Glover Park to get a tour or Rob and Vida's hip house before we walk over to Wisconsin Ave. for a little Indian food
it was good to get together with good friends
perhaps a last viewing before this boy friend and girl friend become husband and wife
the people with kids just don't get together with the non-parent people frequently enough
two very different tribes whose lives are dictated by nothing else.... bedtime and waking time

good to get out of the house
good to get to eat with someone who is not throwing their food or issuing some sort of demand
we had to wait an hour and six minutes to get our table, even with our reservation!
no worries... we had good company, a bottle of wine, and a competitive session of backgammon
to me it was no different if we sat there in the waiting area by the bar or at our dining table
sure it did seem a tad long as many multi-cultural families walked straight in without a word
guess not having an member of our party from India may have caused some discrimination
if only Rob had his sitar with him!
where is that sitar when you need it?

the food was excellent and so was the company!

we were all home and in bed before midnight
yes... no... maybe so?

but it is vital to go to bed at a reasonable time
there is no rationalizing with young children that you need a few more minutes of sleep
children wake and are revved and ready to go

that morning Dean's best buddy Elijah crime came over
Elijah and Dean are not seeing enough of each other lately... renovations on their house have Elijah's family sleeping across town
there was plenty of catching up to do with these boys
mischief to be had
trouble to cause
as they played pirate ninja turtle I built a fire in the chimeria and entertained Grant
lisa walked the dogs
once the fire was a blaze with clippings from the christmas tree that I have held onto for just such a purpose it was time for hot dogs
Elijah and Dean helped grilling the dogs over the hot coals
then ate hot dogs, grapes, baked beans, and apple juice
kids love apple juice!

after hours of healthy play in the back yard I thought it was enough outside and time for some inside activity
once inside playing for a while with Hot Wheels cars and various track set ups I figured enough playing for a while
time to slow things down a bit
with the boys crying out for Power Rangers I offered some Bugs Bunny
rather than using the 34 inch wide screen I pulled out the 6 inch portable DVD player
they got in close and shared a bean bag
there were pillows everywhere
and not an inch between the boys
by the end of the second little cartoon feature Elijah was asleep and Dean' breathing pattern was calm and sleep-like although his eyes were still open and awake
they watched a number of short cartoons.... all Warner Brother's Classic.... none of them Bugs Bunny, although all of that same genera..... maybe a few more cartoons than they needed.... but they each had had a full morning and it was good to let things slow down for a bit
good for them
good for me

then once Elijah left we were not sure how to use the rest of the afternoon
until Dean reminded me that I had promised to take him out in the bicycle trailer
kill two birds with one stone!
I get to ride!
I get to give Dean what he wants!
Lisa gets to chill while Dean is out and Grant is napping!
all parties are satisfied

how often does that happen?

I hitched the Burley Trailer to the back of my Cyclocross bike and then suited Dean up for the two wheeled adventure..... well,... four wheeled; two on the bike and two on the trailer

just as I had expected in less than 10 minutes Dean was out.... flopped over like a rag doll
something about riding in the trailer knocks him out every time

I peddled forward and further planning about an hour and a half on the bike
25-30 minutes later I hear Dean talking to me
not sure if the sound icy ground woke him or if he had just needed to recharge his batteries
Dean made observations and comments as we rolled down the unpaved section of the Capitol Crescent Trail
with the wind in my ears and my focus ahead I was not sure what he was saying
I listened for complaints and requests while asking if he was good from time to time
once on the paved section it was all..... "excuse me," "on your left," "heads up..... on your left"
as I meandered at a healthy pace through all the weekend traffic
lots of strollers parked in the middle of the trail
I try to exhibit trail etiquette
now if only they could exhibit common sense

I listened to Dean's observations and checked that he was okay as we moved down the path at a healthy pace
miles adding up quickly behind us
it was a good pace... a pace not too much slower than if I were moving without a trailer in tow

it was cold
not fridgid
but it was cold
maybe brisk would describe it best
Dean was a good sport
as we passed Fletchers he let me know that he wanted to go home
I told him we were on our way, but there was still a little further
then in an effort to distract him I stopped the bike for 20 seconds to give him a juice boxes then slammed out the final miles
there were a few more "I want to go home" but never a whine, never a complaint, never a tear.... just a statement of fact
that is not to say he does not whine or complain... he is a child of three and a half
whinnying and complaining are part of their nature

finally we rolled into the alley behind the house
with the trailer stopped Dean then let me know that he had to go to the bathroom
I opened the trailer, removed his helmet, unclipped his belts, and watched him tear down the stairs of the deck into the kitchen and up the stairs to the bathroom
dropping gloves, hat, and jacket as he moved up to the second floor to relieve himself

once downstairs I could see that his chin was a tad discolored from the cold
blue not red
but he was fine
nothing that a little snuggling with mom could not help
momma lisa offered hot chocolate
dean asked for fresh meatballs instead
I got the hot chocolate as mommy made it anyway
lucky me... replace the calories I just burned!

I asked if he had fun...
to that Dean replied.... " I want to go in the trailer again..... when it gets warm"

the evening went its usual course of trying to feed, entertain, clean up, and put to bed the two boys....

parenthood is a strange vocation of servitude...
hard to explain to those who are not attracted to it....
hard to explain to those who have never had an opportunity to experience it....
but it is magical!
not sure if it is hypnosis
I am sure that it is magical
moments that add up to a lifetime

crazy to think that these kids who I love so much are both going to be giving me the finger as they take the keys to my car when they are sixteen!

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