Wouldn't you know it?
I spend the week in a shirt and tie, my wife and kids ride around in a minivan, and most days I'm cleanshaven (sans my standard goatee).
But today I go bumming to the grocery store wearing pants older than my kids, a scrubby t-shirt, and two days worth of facial hair (which for me, is dang near a beard by itself). In additon, I'm driving the same ten year old, $8,000 (when new) car my wife and I took on our first date.
And I run into some old co-workers I haven't seen in six or seven years.
But overall it's been a positive week. Last Wednesday was the 11th anniversary of the day my wife and I met, so at the last minute we dumped the kids and spent the night at a bed-and-breakfast in Cedarburg, WI.
It's a nice place, built in 1847 and still in business. We were the only guests, and the innkeeper doesn't stay overnight, so it was a wee spooky in the dead of morning. But aside from the obvious uses of a hotel room (heh heh),which came w/ a fireplace and whirlpool big enough for my hearty frame, we went up and down the street browsing through stores.
According to a Wall St. Journal article, the candy shop down the road has the 'world's best' carmel apples, and at a bookstore across the street I found a great Andre Norton novel "Empire of the Eagle".
By noon the next day I was back at work, but it was great while it lasted.
* * * *
YaYa's commercial premiers this Monday. A sad lack of respectable enthusiasm among family and friends has embittered this household, but we push on . . Wednesday, right before the trip, I volunteered at her school and then gave a speech to her class for career day (which included playing the commercial!). YaYa seemed proud and the kids said I was 'funny', but the Mrs. felt I should have been more informative. Next time I guess. Oh, YaYa went to Libby Lu this weekend too, and had a blast.
* * * *
I've spent more alone time with P-Diddy (Parker) this weekend then I have in - well, maybe ever. While the Mrs. took the girls to the mall YaYa's godfather and I went looking at laptops. Parker was a blast while my friend was around, laughing and smiling and not making any trouble.
Then we split up and I went solo, and things changed.
Not too much tho'. He got moodier as he got hungry and tired. We stopped at McDonald's, and as all the highchairs were taken we (nervously) sat side by side in a both sharing a meal. Then we hopped over to my nephew's Championship Basketball game, where Parker really started to lose it. I made a quick stop at the post office and Blockbuster and we were home.
Total time together: 5 or 6 hours.
Ditto today, minus my buddy. With the girls and Mrs. at a birthday party Parker and I went shopping here and there, including the grocery store (where he was my only saving grace with those co-workers).
Overall, I'm really starting to dig the little guy - except for the fact he never EVER sleeps through the night.
* * *
The championship game went poorly, as my nephews team was dominated by a larger squad that took the title by 16 points. He did pretty well though. As one of the few big guys on the team he nabbed a few rebounds, stole a ball, and wound up on the court three times when fouled.
The kids are all in swim class. I take YaYa first. She's gotten over the fear she had in the last semester and is kicking butt. Then Middle Child and Parker share a class, with the Mrs. taking the baby.
Middle Child, who I repeat is a Kewpie Doll incarnate, is becoming a dang good swimmer in her own right. Parker doesn't act afraid, but seems to be rather bored.
** * * *
After swim class on Saturday we took in one of the earlier rounds of the basketball tournament. My nephews team was down by three baskets with 90 seconds left.
With 1.6 seconds left and the defense pressing hard, a teammate of Jonah's eased up and hit a shot from three point land to give them the lead.
Man, I was on my feet screaming like the Yanks just took the series!
My nephew got a piece of the inbound pass, but it landed in an opponents hand. A teammate stepped up and covered him, and time ran out.
Oh Nellie! My immediate family accounted for 4/5ths of Jonah's fans in the stands - this was enemy ground. But let me tell you, we made enough noise to drown out a Madison Square Garden crowd.
Even the Mrs. was thrilled. "More exciting than any pro game I've seen" she said.
And the best - if most immature - part: the other team's fans were certain, dead certain, the game was in the bag. And then booya!, their hearts were ripped away. I wish I could have bottled the dead silence that came after that shot. Oh man!