Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Or would you rather be a snake?

I went to pick up David today. Yuki, one of his friends, promptly informed me that David was in the 'nap room'. The nap room is normally reserved for the younger kids, so I was a tad bit curious as to why David would be sleeping there. When I asked Yuki, his only response was that David had made 'trouble'.

I went downstairs and asked one of the teachers where David was.

'He's sleeping.'

'Please wake him up.'

Sleepy Dave came out looking guiltier than our cat with a mouthful of toilet paper.

'David, what did you do?'


Okay, well - glad that was settled. What a load off of my mind. I can be quite cynical sometimes, though, so I thought that David and I would pop by his teacher's room to clear the air and say goodbye.

'Five times! I told him FIVE times to stop, but did he listen?'

The busted look on David's face answered the rhetorical question and I couldn't do anything other than apologize and assure her that there would not be an encore.

When we got home, I forced David to explain to me what exactly he had done. Instead, he plopped down on the floor and gleefully showed me.

In addition to Peter's birth, I have been witness to many, many strange things, but most of them didn't have the added value of making me laugh. As I watched David slither around on the floor, I really had to fight the urge to drop to the ground and get my wiggle on.

He explained that he had turned into a 'super snake monster' and that he couldn't possibly hear his teacher because snakes don't have ears. He also claimed that his friends were laughing too loudly. I reminded David that his teacher has quite a powerful voice, but then he reminded me that his friends can laugh really loudly. Damn, he's good!

I then explained to Snake-boy that there would be no TV, no games, and no dessert for him. The new reality apparently didn't sink in, because his next question was 'Can I play Angry Birds?'.

As if on cue, Angie came home and demanded a re-explanation. Talk about your angry birds.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Micro Mama

Seconds before this lovely image, a microphone was shoved into Angie's hand, preceded by a curious question from Alex, one of her colleagues.

'Here ya go - you're opening the ceremony, right?'

'Uhh, no.'

'Yeah, funny - here's the mic.'

Before I dwell on emails from colleagues that Angie should have read weeks prior that explained silly little organizational details like that she was expected to open the school's Christmas church service, allow me to flash back to our simple breakfast.

'I'd like an egg.'

'I'd like a Mai Tai.'

'Not funny, Steve - we've been practicing this play for weeks and I'm nervous.'

'I see that, which is why I'm thinking a Mai Tai would help much more than an egg - just saying.'

I'll let your imagination figure out who won that logic round.

As Angie was leaving for the church play, I reminded her to switch off her phone.

'Right! Thanks! How do I do that again?'

'Well, here - give it to me. You just need to flip the switch here on the...oh, never mind - it's already on silent.'

'It is?'

With that innocent question, a sudden wave of realization came crashing down on me. I had honestly wondered why Angie had been ignoring my calls since OCTOBER!!!??? That's right, I bought my lovely wife the iPhone for her birthday and she's had the damn thing on silent since then. Her big 'I'm just trying to help' comment was:

'Oh, I wondered why I had so many more missed calls than with my old phone.'

Doesn't matter - at that point, my number one goal was getting valley girl out of the house. I succeeded and when I came home from work, Angie gave me an encore rendering of her impromptu speech:

'Uh, Hello.......Welcome students and...uh.......Welcome parents...and...Welcome teachers....yeah, uh....I hope you enjoy the service.....Thank you!'

Something tells me that she might not be asked to open the ceremony next year.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Shut Up and Heal!

Angie and I are not morning people by any stretch of the temper, but with Angie I would definitely capitalize the NOT; I might even underline it as well. I'd probably then encrypt that statement and only fork over the decryption key after her second pot of coffee. And all this is under the silly assumption that we actually get the five hours of beauty sleep that we've grown accustomed to over the past seven years of childatude.

The fact that Tommy was up for three hours last night coughing, crying and, for the grand finale, throwing up meant that neither one of us were exactly perky, let alone peachy and keen. In addition to the many, many joys of parenthood, one of them is flipping the coin on who gets stuck on sick duty. As a former squid, my knack for deck-swabbing somehow volunteered me to man the mop and bucket. Thanks, babe.

Before leaving, Angie actually had the audacity to ask me to make her a coffee to go. One telling glare later, Angie was quickly and silently closing the front door. Sans coffee.

After two cups of coffee for me, I called up Angie's address book on the computer and looked up the doctor's number. Organizing a doctor's visit in Germany is never fun and can often take hours to even get through to someone with a pulse, so I allowed myself a third cup before making the call. I was pleasantly shocked and awed when a human picked up on the second ring.

'Hi, my name is Johnson. My son Tom is sick - can I make an appointment?'

'I'm sorry, Mr. Johnson. We have a Peter and a David, but we don't have any record of a Tom. Has he ever been in for a visit?'

'Yeah! Try every second week for the past three years.'

'It doesn't matter, Mr. Johnson, just please bring in his medical card and we'll add him to the system. We don't have any appointments left, but if you come by at 4.30 we should be able to squeeze him in.'

So, yeah. I showed up at the doctor's at 4:30, as prescribed.

'Can I help you?'

'No, but you can try and help my son, Tom. I called earlier - Johnson. I was told to come by around 4:30.'

'I don't know who would have told you that - I've been working all day and we are completely booked. You don't have an appointment?'


'Ummm, okay. Please have a seat in the waiting room, Mr. Johnson.'

After an hour of hanging out with vertically challenged sick-o's, I stormed back to the front desk.

'This is ridiculous! If you couldn't see us, you should have just said that instead of telling me to come in.'

'But I didn't....'

'Look, stop the games, lady! I've got to get back home to my family. Can the doctor see my son today or not?'

'Tell you what - just take a seat over there and I will try to squeeze you in the next time the doctor comes out. Just please don't tell any of the patients in the waiting room.'

As we were waiting, Tommy broke down into a slobbering mass of cranky sickiness. I did what any sane father would do when confronted with such a public display of tears and embarrassment and promptly shoved two sticks of sugar-packed gum into wailing boy's mouth. Yup, that worked.

Eventually, the sacred door to the doctor's room opened and we were ushered in like we were in the witness protection program on the eve before testifying against the Godfather. Not surprisingly, he gave us the expedited version of a check-up and gave the whopping diagnosis that Tommy had 'a cough'. The wise doctor wisely ignored my loud clapping and applauds and instead wrote a prescription for cough syrup. As we were leaving, he kneeled down in front of Tommy and mistakenly tried to be funny.

'You were such a good boy - I would have given you some gummy bears, but since you have a mouthful of gum, there is probably no room for...'

With that, Tommy spat his big wad of gum out. It landed with a splat next to the surprised doctor's boot. The doctor looked at me, not exactly happy. I shrugged, trying my damndest not to crack up. Wisely, the doctor motioned to his nurse, who rushed over wearing latex gloves and scraped up Tommy's response. He then forked over a couple of gummy bears and we left.

After running to the pharmacy, we got home at the same time as Angie. As on any given weekday, Angie made a bee-line to the computer to check her number of friends on Crackbook. That's when she let the hammer drop.

'Why do you have Dr. D's number up? We haven't been there for years.'

It only took a second for the complete hilariousness of it to kick in. I had called our old doctor, who of course had no entry for Tom, since we had moved away long before he was born. I had then threatened and bullied my way into an appointment that we didn't have with our current doctor by trying to convince his innocent receptionist that she must certainly be losing her mind.

My first thought was that I absolutely had to hide this minor screw-up from my wife. My second thought was that I needed to apologize to Dr. W's assistant. I often have second thoughts, so I delivered a box of chocolates to the poor receptionist who was now questioning her sanity. As for Angie, I'm guessing this blog will pretty much let the cat out of the bag. Hi Sofa, long time, no see.