Welcome to the first edition of the Suburban Butch Dad Report, dateline Olympia 01/31/2010.
I live in suburbia, on a large lot that backs up to a heavily wooded city park. Not a bad place to raise kids, all schools within walking distance and lots of other families nearby. And even though it does sometimes feel like I’m living in a big bowl of vanilla, the people here are pretty cool, hard working and pretty open minded.
On Friday night, my wife and I walked next door to celebrate our neighbor’s 50th birthday. She and her husband have two boys, one of whom is our older daughter’s age. It was an adults only party, our baby being the exception, and so our eldest (10) stayed home to heat up soup for dinner and watch movies until she fell asleep. She ended up calling us three times, once to ask if it was ok if she watched cartoons. Keep in mind, we weren’t there so she could have watched anything she had a mind to, but she’s the kind of kid who will ask regardless.
Most of the rest of the party goers were also parents, a lot of them with kids in our daughter’s grade. While drinking beer and wine, and noshing on very tasty appetizers, we exchanged a high volume of quality intel about our kids. We talked about some of the kids we’d rather our kids not hang out with, and the ones we thought were cool. We gossiped about other parents. We compared notes about our kids’ pre-pubescent physical development, their almost teen-aged attitudes and shared strategies for dealing with all of the above.
At one point in the evening, I was chatting with one of the neighbor dads and he mentioned he’d be available all weekend to take care of the two big limbs in my yard. See, we had a big windstorm from the north in November that sent two Douglas Fir widow-makers down into my yard not many yards from the house. Usually our weather comes from the southwest, so north winds cut against the grain and tend to send more trees and branches down. These were big limbs, the largest was a good 6″ in diameter. A few weeks prior to the party, I’d seen him at school and asked if I could borrow him and his chainsaw sometime to chop them into manageable pieces. Even so, I was a bit surprised Saturday morning when I glanced out the bathroom window into the back yard and did not see those enormous branches lyin across my yard. He’d already been over, ninja-neighbor style, pulling the branches back to the wood pile, chopping them up for me and putting the remainder on my brush heap. This is the kind of neighborhood I live in. This is the guy who will start his generator up when the power goes out and then invite the rest of us to bring our frozen goods to put in his chest freezer. We’ve got kids all around, good responsible parents, we’re pretty fortunate that way.
So yeah, most of the people we socialize with and everyone I work with (that I know of) are vanilla. Most of the time, that’s no big deal, we have all kinds of other things in common. I do find myself dressing differently for those folks, and I’m not talking about shirts and shoes. In prepping for the party on Friday, I pulled out one of my dress shirts, sans tie, cuz it wasn’t that formal a crowd. When I got myself tucked in, I realized I was riding a bit large and reached into my pants to adjust myself a little lower. It’s one of those almost unconscious evaluations I make every time I get dressed or adjust myself after going to the bathroom: how cock proud do I want to be right now? Just another detail of life for a butch who packs.
But enough about me, you probably want to know how the kids are doing, right? Our baby is six months old now and very, very active. Her latest accomplishments are learning to keep food in her mouth and learning how to do raspberries, two not necessarily compatible skills to practice simultaneously, but both utilizing fine motor control of the tongue and lips. So far she’s sampled carrots, applesauce, sweet potatoes and bananas. She’s not retaining much yet, and only gets about a tablespoon at a time, but it’s good practice and she enjoys being part of mealtime. As for raspberries, she works really hard getting her tongue into position, all to produce a faint ‘buzz’ and a ‘thpp’ sound. That’s it, but I predict she’ll be doing a full ‘thppppppppppppt’ soon enough. She’s a very good natured baby, very responsive and alert, and I love the enthusiastic greetings I get from her when I come home from work every day. She’s been a bit fussy lately, with a tooth coming in and a stuffy nose, but over all, she’s still a very easy child.
Which is a good thing, because Spawn1 has most definitely turned into an almost-teenager, with all the bells and whistles. Oh, my god, how is it that my firstborn, just-barely-10-year-old, sweet-faced daughter suddenly has body hair and is becoming round in the chest? I guess I have to get used to my wiry, string bean girl getting a bit curvier from here on out. The other day she asked me how old she had to be before she could drive. Not long after she declared that she couldn’t wait to be 15 so she could drive.. holy gord in the sky, are you kidding me? Along with the increased body oils, budding breasts and fuzziness, her attitude is on the rise. She’s driving my wife and me crazy with her mouth some days. All of 10 years on the planet, but she knows it all and will not hesitate to tell us, over and over again, with hand on hip and a sassy smirk on her face. She’s gonna see a whole lot of the inside of her room for a few years, I predict. The boys have been taking more notice of her lately, at this point it seems she’s favored for her willingness to play video games with them. One little boy got into a tizzy because she also has play dates with another boy. His mother was quick to remind him that they were all free to have any friends they wanted to. Inside my head, I was shouting “You’re too young to go steady!!” Spawn1 maintains that she’s not serious about any single boy, but enjoys having them as friends along with all the girlfriends she has.
In related news, the wife and I have decided we will be installing some sort of alarm on the window screen of Spawn1’s bedroom window. It’s just way too easy to get in and out of her basement room and she’s already pretty popular. And, yeah, maybe she won’t be that kind of kid, but the missus and I were ‘that kind of kid’ so we’re not taking any chances.
Day to day, week to week, family and household responsibilities take the lion’s share of my time and energy, but I still make time to read blogs, write my own stuff, fit as much kink into my day as humanly possible and spend a lot of virtual time with Roxy. Add to that the technical book review I’m doing (making sure all the code samples work), leading a local software developer’s group and getting out when I can for a shot and some beers. And I’m getting back into my bike commute after three months off due to health, weather and equipment malfunction. Before I know it, it’s gonna be time to get out and plant in my garden.
So there you have it, my friends, this is what my Suburban Butch Dad’s life is about: my family, my love relationships, kink, homeowner stuff, networking with other parents, packing, furthering my career through various activities, learning more about D/s, writing-writing-writing and reading-reading-reading. Every day, I try to stir as much kink into the vanilla as I can, slipping a key word in here and there to see if I can discover others like me in the beige.
Until the next report, enjoy your life, enjoy your peeps and let your freak flags fly (all of them, as often as you can).
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