Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Guest Columnist

Over the past several months Elizabeth and I have entertained the idea of having a "guest columnist" for Abby's blog. While I found the idea intriguing I have to admit I was a bit intimidated because, unlike Elizabeth I am not a trained author. My undergraduate, and graduate training, are in the "cruel" sciences - i.e. Finance and Management. However, after a particularly sweet exchange with Abby while putting her to bed, I decided it was time to make the leap.

Consider yourself warned...

First, I would be remiss if I did not take a moment to thank many of you for your well wishes and prayers during my latest health pilgrimage, which included a near-death experience (that's a topic for another blog), and a (mostly) all expenses paid stay at the hospital that included such party-favors as pneumonia and a blood-clot. In all seriousness, thank you for your kindnesses to Elizabeth, Abby, and me...

So, I thought what I would do is give you a glimpse into a world few, if any, have ever seen...I'm going to tell you what happens after Elizabeth leaves for school in the morning.

The best way to describe our mornings is: "hurry up and wait". Most mornings begin with Abby waking up and shuffling out of her room with hair reminiscent of Albert Einstein. It is in this instant that our mornings can go one of two ways. Some mornings she will begin by yelling indiscriminately at anything around her, and the first battle of the day is convincing her to go to the bathroom. Mind you this isn't a physiological issue, the bottom line is that Abby does not like to be told what to do. I can honestly tell you that she comes by this naturally - from her mother. Seriously, why else would a woman who hated school all her life become a teacher? It's the one profession where you spend the day telling people what to do. But I digress...

Usually, it is at this point where Abby comes down to the master bedroom and hops in bed with Dad. Depending on her mood, she will either say, "Love you too, Dada," or yell at me to leave her alone. This is when we usually start watching "Rugrats" or "Yo Gabba Gabba", and Elizabeth is either running around trying to get ready, or using her famous line, "I need to leave a little early today," which loosely translated means: "I didn't have time to make coffee and I want a bagel from Tim Horton's."

This is when "hurry up and wait" begins. Whether they will admit it or not, all dads feel a bit of a panic when left in charge of getting kids ready for school.

Sometimes it's a battle to get her to eat her breakfast, but after a little coaxing she will sit down at her table, with her imaginary friends, and have a rousing breakfast discussion. Next comes getting dressed. Again, this is where the day can take another turn, for better - or for worse. Some mornings we wear what Mom has put out for us, some mornings we don't. It is usually on those mornings that Elizabeth will get a note from Abby's teacher, curious about Abby's attire of that day.

Hurry up and wait - again. This time, for the bus.

I like certainty in my life, so waiting for the bus always makes me nervous. With all the unknowns our dear bus driver, Cathy, faces every day, there can be a 20 minute swing in either direction. This is when I sit at the piano bench and start staring out the window for the bus, and Abby begins playing in ernest in the other room. For whatever reason, when the bus arrives it always surprises me and I panic about getting Abby out there in time and before the bus leaves her (which has never happened). This is when I run and grab her, and whatever toy she is playing with, and we all make a run for the bus. As we run to the bus I devise my plan to take away from her whatever toy she brought along, which are verboten on the bus (drumsticks, wooden spoons, balloons, and nun-chucks).

So there you have it, a typical school morning with Abby. For those of you whose toughest choices, or biggest surprises, are whether to wear black or blue socks, or to have scrambled or poached eggs, you have no idea how quiet your mornings are. For those of you who have more than one kid to get ready in the morning, I have no idea how you do it.

Thanks for reading this wordy post and for investing so much time, energy, and love in our little angel - Abby.

Maybe next year, when I am allowed to write my second guest column, I will tell you about our evenings.

- Jason

Abby on a good morning.
Abby on a bad morning.

The jury's out on this one.

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