Parenthood, in my opinion, is a celebration of absurdity.
Case in point: My morning.
Maybe you haven't noticed, but Atlanta and Moscow somehow have managed to be on the same latitude lately. Which by itself, doesn't bother me in the slightest. I'm a fan of the cold weather... bundling up with sweaters, snuggling by the fire, laughing through the snow... you get the idea.
The part that I'm not such a fan of, is the fact that my two big, strong, smelly, somewhat homoerotic dogs Clifford and Chopper become gigantic furry babies when the temperature drops below 35 degrees. And lets just say, I'm not exactly eager to run outside in my PJs and move the whiners into their kennel in the garage just because its a little nippy. Sure sure, I wouldn't want to be outside sleeping in the cold either. BUT I don't smell like moldy yogurt, chew any and all surfaces, or have a built in fur coat (well, not exactly).
Well, whatever the dogs may be, they clearly aren't stupid. One night, the temperature dropped significantly after I went to bed, so the boys were out in the elements and decided to take matters into their own paws. Later, I was woken from my slumber by someone knocking on our door at 2:30 am. So I groggily stumble to the door, thinking to myself, "I thought Judah was too young to sneak out and get arrested for streaking."
Right department, wrong family member.
"Sir, we've had several complaints from your neighbors about your dogs causing a disturbance in the night. I'm going to have to ask you to get them to be quiet or I'll have to issue you a citation."
I had to give it to them, that was pretty crafty. So NOW, they've tied my hands, and whenever it gets cold they decide to bark it up like its 2012, and I inevitably have to scoot out into the night and move them to the garage.
Just to add to the fun, Clifford gnawed his collar off lately, so I have to loop his leash around his neck like a lasso to corral him.
Anyway, back to this morning. So in our neck of the woods, its was freezing last night, so the dogs were in the garage in the morning. In other news, Judah is currently dealing with double ear infections and a hacking cough, so he has been getting terrible sleep lately, and he's pretty much perpetually cranky. On top of that I left his door cracked when I closed it after the 11 pm bottle, so Danger (the good cat) snuck in to his room for some late night snuggle time.
Apart from the problem of the cat potentially stealing his breath in the night, Danger has this weird thing where he MUST be let out at 5:30 in the morning. So that means this morning he woke Judah up in his attempt to escape the nursery.
Oh yeah, normally its Keight's responsibility to wake up with Judah on M-W-F, but to add to the fun, she's been getting sick as well.
So my morning started with a cranky boy at 5:37. We get up, have some fun for about 30 minutes, and then Judah decides that there is no more fun to be had. He actually decides that coughs and whimpering are the soundtrack of choice for the day. So just when he reaches the point of no happiness, I remembered that the dogs were in the garage.
Since there was no putting him down, the only option that I had was to throw the little guy in our ever helpful Kelty Kids backpack and try to make it happen as a team.
So please try to picture me, with Judah on my back (snotty), trying to herd both of our 70 pounds dogs (one lassoed) back into their pen at 6:10 in the freezing cold.
I think it was about the time that the dogs were tying my legs with their leashes as I tried to unclip Chopper and Judah was crying because I was bending over when I looked down and noticed that my shirt was inside out because I got dressed in the dark.
And I just had to laugh. It was a deep belly laugh, and I'm sure if the neighbors saw me at that point they would have thought I'd finally cracked, but I was overcome by the absurdity of it all.
Here we are, me and this boy that I'm raising, navigating through life. My responsibility is to teach him to be a man, but this is all that I know about manhood: Fumbling with dogs in the cold with your shirt on inside out as your son pools snot on your shoulder in the backpack behind you.
I have no secrets. I have few bits of precious wisdom. All I know about being a man is that you do whatever you can to take care of those in your life, starting with your family and then reaching out as far as you can. I know that there is strength in weakness and great reward in looking out for the weak. Be that little boys, sick and sleepy wives or annoying lovable mutts.
I went about the rest of the morning with a new sense of purpose though. Judah was still cranky, I was still tired, and I remembered that it was Wednesday, and therefore Trash Day, so I had to stumble through the house with the bug still strapped in. But it was good.
This is my offering to him, showing him that being dad isn't about playing catch, killing spiders, and programing remotes; as it is simply doing whatever it takes to take care of the ones you love.
Happy Trash Day.
yep, that's the diaper genie bag