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We Are Well-Protected From a Plague of Locusts

July 27, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Daisy loves summer. Summer means bugs, and bugs make great play toys. There has been an influx of grasshoppers in our backyard over the past few days. Daisy is in heaven. Grasshoppers are the perfect bug toys: they hop around erratically, but not so much that Daisy can’t catch them. And even better, they don’t seem to know when they’re supposed to be dead, so they keep providing entertainment long after they’ve been mangled. It’s great from my perspective because I don’t have to resort to pesticides to protect my plants. I just let Daisy out back and a while later the patio is littered with dead and half-dead grasshoppers. All is well as long as she doesn’t actually eat the pests. Have you ever cleaned up dog vomit filled with grasshopper parts? Whew! That’s a foul brew.

Hysterics

July 25, 2006 at 2:15am By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Robbie had his mom and I in stitches tonight. Robbie was on his back on the floor. I had been playing with him for a while, when I decided to do some exercises with him in the form of various sports officiating signals: arms up for touchdown; arms out for safe; a punching motion for out; a chainsaw motion for strike three; arms up and down for double dribble; and arms spinning for traveling. Robbie has always enjoyed having his arms moved around, but apparently tonight he really had a grand old time. So grand, in fact, that for the first time ever, he got hysterical. Now, Robbie has laughed before, but it has always been “tee hee hee” and that was it. This was different. This was continuous, honest-to-goodness, “dad, you’re hilarious” laughter. That got me started laughing. The Missus, having observed this whole scene, started laughing. And soon the Wilsons were all giggling uncontrollably in the middle of the living room. Pricess stuff.

On an unrelated note, The Missus pulled the trifecta today: she had close encounters with spit up, pee, and poop. Good times!

Bits and Pieces

July 24, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

  • I survived the college soccer referee physical on Saturday. The physical consisted of four parts: (1) a 12-minute run; (2) a ten-meter “box drill” involving sprinting, sidestepping, and back-peddaling; (3) a linear sprint-sidestep-sprint-sidestep drill; and (4) a shuttle run requiring you to run 30-30-30 meters, rest for up to ten seconds, and then do another 30-30-30-30 meters. I only made it 2,750 meters in the 12-minute run, short of my goal of 3,000 meters, and I didn’t do too hot in the box drill. But I broke the scale in the shuttle run. Overall I think I ended with either the highest or second-highest score. That says less about my fitness than it does about the other referees’ fitness.
  • Robert has been semi-regularly sleeping 6-7 hours at a stretch overnight. He has a ways to go, but he’s getting closer to making in through the night.
  • In other Robert news, he’s still a big talker. Lately he has been adding many new sounds to his vocabulary, and sometimes you’d swear he’s trying to mimic you.
  • A good friend from high school is moving back to town after a few years in the D.C. area. Welcome back, Katie!
  • On the other hand, another good friend is moving out west to Imperial. Sounds like he has a great job opportunity out there. I’m not sure if I’m supposed to say more than that, so I’ll just stop there for now.
  • The garden is pumping out veggies these days. Especially my two Hungarian yellow wax pepper plants; they’re going nuts. Guess I’ll have to whip up another batch of my stuffed peppers. Cream cheese, cheddar cheese, turkey sausage, and a blend of spices. Mmm.
  • I need a big stump removed. Anybody have a recommendation for a good stump remover in town?

It’s Like a Foreign Country

July 19, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

International adoption is so common these days that many people seem shocked that we adopted domestically. A typical conversation goes a little like this:

Person: He’s so cute! Where did you adopt him from?
Me: Boston.
Person: No, I mean which country was he born in?
Me: The United States.
Person: ... Really?

I don’t think folks mean to be so surprised. They are just so accustomed to children being adopted from Russia or China or, thanks to Angelina Jolie, Ethiopia. And indeed international adoption is almost the default these days. Some people do it because it is easier for them. (Older couples are welcomed by some countries, for example.) Some people do it because they are afraid of open adoption. (International adoptions are almost always closed.) Some people do it because they want a white baby. (Russia is popular for that reason.) Some even do it because they feel like the act of adoption from some countries is tantamount to offering humanitarian aid. And there are, of course, dozens of other reasons that motivate folks to adopt internationally.

The Missus and I are in no position to question anybody’s motives since we stated very clearly from the beginning that some of our motivations were very selfish. Still, it’s sad to me that more people aren’t willing to adopt domestically. I wonder why not? I suspect fear—fear of legal hurdles, fear of a birth parent changing his/her mind, fear of the child seeking and finding his birth family and establishing a relationship—plays a big role. Some of the fears are no doubt legitimate, but most are probably not. I know I began with a bunch of fears. Some of them could still happen. But so far all of my fears turned out to be rubbish.

In any event, Robert is all American, born in the U.S.A. But I’ll be honest, having spent almost two weeks in Boston, it’s a lot like a foreign country. They speak funny, they drive funny, and they eat a lot of fish. To this midwestern boy that practically makes ‘em European!

Moon Watching

July 18, 2006 at 12:20pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Daisy has been fascinated by the moon the past couple mornings. Have you ever tried walking a dog that won’t stop looking at the moon? It’s a hoot. I haven’t been able to figure out if she stares at it out of curiosity, or fear, or what. Does it look like a big bird? A Frisbee? The mothership coming to take her back to her home planet?

Happy Contrails, Husker Pilot

July 17, 2006 at 11:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus and I want to wish Husker Pilot a happy journey down south, where he will spend a year in intensive training learning to fly some darn big planes. Good luck, HP. There will be a Big Ass Burrito waiting for you when you return.

Babysitting Abuse

July 17, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

The Missus has belonged to a certain Organization for several years, the “clubhouse” of which she frequents almost every day. This particular Organization offers babysitting services at a ridiculously low rate to its members while they are in the “clubhouse”. It’s a great deal, and The Missus and Robert have taken advantage of it several times. That is, until the other day:

Snooty Front Desk Chick: I need to talk to you about that boy.
The Missus: Uhh, ok. What about him?
SFDC: The babysitting services are available only to children of members. You can’t just bring any kid in here and dump him off.
The Missus: Robbie? He’s my son. He’s adopted.
SFDC: *snort* Well have you spoken with The Director about it?
The Missus: No, but we can go do that right now.

And so they did. The Director, as one would hope, gave SFDC a tongue-lashing. I’m not sure if she is still employed or not.

These are some of the fun things we get to look forward to as Robbie grows up. It’s a good thing The Missus and I have a good sense of humor or we would never survive it all. (That, or people like SFDC would not survive.) The core of the situation doesn’t bother me at all. A young woman exercised poor judgement in jumping to an incorrect conclusion. It happens. She would have known that The Missus wasn’t pregnant, and now this kid shows up out of nowhere. Abuse of babysitting services isn’t the first thing that would have popped into my mind, but hey, people have probably tried it before.

But what I really love is that after The Missus pointed out that Robbie is adopted, SFDC marched The Missus to The Director. That’s just beautiful. Did she think The Director was going to demand proof of parenthood or something? What was the goal there? Methinks somebody was just being stubborn and stupid. The former often leads to the latter.

A little part of me wants to see SFDC get fired. It seems weird (and a little shameful) to admit that considering I view this event with humor, not malice. After all, I get a big kick thinking about how SFDC has to look The Missus in the eye every single day. That sort of embarassment is way better than getting SFDC fired. And my goal here should be education, not retaliation. But as much as I am pro-humiliation and pro-education, I am also vehemently anti-stupid, and SFDC behaved very stupidly. The Organization shouldn’t want to be associated with her.

I’ll leave SFDC’s employment status up to the Organization. No way in heck am I going to let myself turn into one of those parents that goes on a wild crusade every time his kid is a victim or stupidity, or bigotry, or whatever. I just hope the Organization reviews its employee training procedures and tries to determine if this error resulted from a flaw in training, or if it’s just the sort of hiccup that’s going to happen now and then. (I assume the latter.) In the mean time, I’m going to remind myself that sometimes people do stupid things, and that the best thing to do is to learn from their mistakes.

Out Of It

July 16, 2006 at 8:31pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

I have been training a little bit lately for the fall soccer season. College soccer reffing isn’t something I like to go into without a nice fitness base. And besides, our annual physical evaluation is Saturday morning. Among the referees present I had the most points at last year’s physical—which consists of tests to evaluate things like your endurance, speed, and agility—and I would like to repeat the feat this year.

So anyway, I was running intervals over at Zemann Elementary this morning. Three sets of four groups of 75 meters hard, 25 meters easy, 75 meters hard, 25 meters rest. I had finished 11 of my 12 sets, and I was getting a little loopy from the humidity and morning heat. I was walking in the shade during my 25 meters of rest, when suddenly a car horn sounded from a driveway just to my right. Honest to goodness I actually said out loud:

“Gentlemen, do I have at least one number right?”

Clearly it was about time to get out of the heat.

Somebody Open This Restaurant, Please

July 13, 2006 at 12:25pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Here’s my idea: a noodle restaurant that is half Subway, half HuHot. You pick your noodle, your meat, your veggies, and your sauce. (Or you choose from a pre-set combination.) It all gets mixed together on a hot plate or in a wok or something, and it is served up hot and fresh mere moments later. I figure a meal should cost between $4 and $7. Put it Downtown and I’d eat there twice a week.

Any takers?

Snot a Problem

July 10, 2006 at 12:30pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

All good things must come to an end, and that includes Robbie’s clean bill of health. Robbie picked up a bit of a cold Saturday night, so The Missus and I didn’t get a whole lot of sleep while he tried to figure out why it was such a pain in the butt to breathe. He was a little fussy for much of Sunday, too. Fortunately he perked up toward Sunday evening, and he even slept for five whole hours in a row last night, a record.

It’s funny, I haven’t had a problem so far with Robbie’s pee, poop, or spit up. But dang, have you ever had somebody else’s snot all over your bare shoulder? Ewww! Now that’s gross.

Three Years of The Wilsons

July 5, 2006 at 1:00pm By: Mr. Wilson Posted in 625 Elm Street

Today is our third anniversary. Why The Missus continues to put up with me I’ll probably never understand. But she does, and for that I am thankful.

In three years we have made some pretty decent headway on our to-do list together:

  1. House
  2. Dog
  3. Kid #1
  4. Kid #2

Looks like we need to update our list or we’ll soon run out of things to keep us busy.

Lots of folks out there are looking for the secret to the perfect marriage. We aren’t perfect, but I will tell you what has worked well for us so far. In short, we communicate well. We talk a lot on pretty much any topic you can think of. Drugs, sex, rock and roll, the quantity and nature of Robbie’s poop over the past 24 hours—we cover it all. We even managed to always have something to talk about while we were holed up in Boston. Have you ever spent eleven days in almost constant contact with your spouse? (Outside the honeymoon period, that is.) There are lots of opportunities to drive each other mad. But I think The Missus and I came out liking each other even more, and amazingly, even after being together for nearly ten years, I think we learned some new things about each other.

On top of it all, though, we are best friends. We were best friends from the very beginning. That’s what keeps us so strong. I don’t think every successful couple has to be best friends, but our relationship fits our personalities very well. When we first began dating I often mused on how different we were, and that we proved that opposites attract. I even did a psychology project on the topic. Today I see that we are not opposites at all; we are surprisingly similar. She, the daughter of liberal New York Jews, and I, the son of conservative Nebraska Christians. Whodathunkit?

And of course many of you have been pretty important in making The Wilsons who we are today. So to you, I say thanks. And to The Missus: Happy Anniversary.

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