August 03, 2004

Story Time

Last night I got home from work and I was cranky and overheated. Cranky because work was less than fulfilling yesterday and overheated because dear, OLD, Metro North had no air conditioning on its train cars last night, at least on my train.

I walked in and was greeted by my daughter gleefully telling me: "I was a pill today, an absolute pill." That set her tone for the remainder of the evening. My wife gave the baths but, due to poor listening skills by my daughter, had to tag out. We do that, the two of us. When it gets to the point where you feel like you are going to lose your patience, you can call out to the other parent, "I'm tagging out" or "you need to tag in" and, like in wrestling, the other parent steps into the ring. It has kept us from losing our minds, this little game. The problem will be when the kids figure it out and start to game us on purpose. But, that's another day, I hope.

After the baths was story time. Story time is a critical time of the day for my daughter. We lead up to it with negotiations concerning the number of stories, the mix of stories (if shorter ones are chosen, can we read more of them), and the selection themselves (because I insist on new ones from time to time). Usually, the boy child could not care less about story time. He has shown no interest in sitting on my lap while I read and when I try, he loudly demands to be set free. Last night was different, though.

The girl child selected three books: "There's a Wocket in my Pocket"; Cecil's Garden" and "Kiss Good Night". I pulled the boy child up since he was within reach and we began with the wocket book. He lasted all of two pages before wanting to get down. So I let him down and continued reading to the girl while keeping watch on the boy with my peripheral vision. He picked up the stethoscope from the girl child's doctor kit, put it around his neck and then, seemingly content, came back and held his arms out to be picked up again. Whereupon he rejoined us for the remainder of the wocket book and seemed to pay close attention to the last two books as well. He didn't reach for them or try to turn or crumple the pages, he just sat there happily as I read with, I must admit, greater animation than usual. I gave a different voice to each character and tried every oratorical flourish I could think of to keep his interest and get him hooked on the experience.

After we finished the three books, I began to rock in the glider chair and he slipped down a little in my lap to lay his little head in the crook of my arm. He was obviously very tired. I told the girl child that her brother was tired and she leaned forward a bit to take a look and then promptly lay down herself across my lap and put her head on his little chest and shoulder.

And we rocked in total peace and tranquility and I didn't want that moment to end for anything. I'd rather be home with them now, honestly, even if the girl child is being a pill.

Posted by Random Penseur at August 3, 2004 08:36 AM

RP Your making my womb ache!

Posted by: Mia at August 3, 2004 09:56 AM

Sorry, Mia. I am amazed though at how many women seem to be having reactions like that.

Posted by: RP at August 3, 2004 11:56 AM

What Mia said.

I love the "tag" idea!

Posted by: Amber at August 3, 2004 04:58 PM

RP I guess its partly due to us women (sorry for the generalisation) being programmed to find a mate who will be a good provider, not necessarily from a financial point of view but finding a guy who will love and want to spend time with his children. And when we see that we just go mushy. Well some of us anyway.

There is something just incredibly sexy about a guy who loves being a father.

A single father friend of mine gets hit on all the time when he is out and about with his 2 year old daughter.
He says if he only had the energy he would be having the time of his life!

Posted by: Mia at August 4, 2004 02:30 AM

Thanks, Mia. That seems a very sensible explanation. Come to think of it, I noticed something similar when I lived in NYC and would go out alone with the baby. It was even better than a puppy!

Posted by: RP at August 4, 2004 08:09 AM

About A Boy springs to mind!

Posted by: Mia at August 4, 2004 08:16 AM

I had to go look that up, Mia. Now I understand. It's not a secret among men that women like men with babies. I think my uncle used to borrow me as a baby to take me to the park to play with and coincidentally meet women!

Posted by: RP at August 4, 2004 08:20 AM

But ....... it strange how it has the opposite effect on men when they see women with babies.

Well mostly.

And of course I know its different if its YOUR lady holding YOUR baby.

Posted by: Mia at August 4, 2004 08:25 AM
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