Suburban Butch Dad Report, 6/27/2010

This week’s SBDR is brought to you by World Cup soccer, which has entertained my family for hours on end.  Well, to be fair, Little Bit isn’t all that interested, but Mrs. Kyle, ElderSpawn and I have watched quite a lot of soccer.  And, yes, we were heartily disappointed Saturday morning when the US team fell to Ghana, but it was an exciting game, and an excellent way to spend the late morning and early afternoon.

Saturday was dedicated to relaxation and family.  I made the choice to be prioritize relaxation over productivity on the advice of Roxy, who diagnosed me as being a bit overstressed.  Thank you, my darling, that was an excellent prescription.  I slept in until 9 am, had a long leisurely breakfast and coffee with the newspaper.  It was lovely to read the hole paper, drink my coffee without haste and watch the birds feeding in the front yard.  The Little Bit rambled around the dining and living rooms, chirping happily and snacking on cheerios.

Sadly, the happy chirping isn’t Little Bit’s favorite vocalizing technique.  Instead she’s been working on her ear-piercing, paint-peeling banshee wails.  There’s not a clear reason why she’s screaming so much of the time.  It happens whether we’re in the room with her, or not.  It doesn’t seem to be about hunger, or wet diapers, though sometimes feeding or changing her will mute her for a short while.  She seems to like to yell, and it’s not cute or sweet at all and we really, really want her to stop… before she shreds our sanity, along with our eardrums.

The ElderSpawn has her moments as well.  On the one hand, it’s great that she’s old enough to make phone calls, set up play dates and ride her bike to her friends house.  Between that and the scheduled activities, she’s not suffering from summer boredom too badly.  However, she only got out of school last week, so there’s still time.  Unfortunately, she’s still working on her teen-aged smart-mouth routines, hand-on-hip, head tossed, lip-curled and disdainful.  And, damn, does that girl get into trouble because of it.  At first, when we call her on being smart-mouthed and out of line, she reacts badly, testing us no doubt.  Fairly quickly, her bravado collapses and she becomes teary eyed and apologetic, dramatically so.  Anyone who’s dealt with an overly dramatic, tearful apology can tell you that it’s not any more fun to deal with than the belligerent phase.

To top off Saturday, my cousin came to visit with her brand new baby (3 weeks old) and her boyfriend.  We had time to hang out, fill bags with hand-me downs and get to know each other better.  It was the most time I’d ever spent with my cousin since she became an adult.  The afternoon drew on and we invited them to stay for dinner before driving back to Everett.  It was a lovely day.

Today was also very nice.  Another long leisurely morning, slowly rolling into productivity.  I got a lot done, took a nice long nap, and made dinner.  As requested by ElderSpawn, she and I made pancakes, eggs and bacon.  Mrs. Kyle suggested I check out the Pioneer Woman’s sour cream pancake recipe, and so we did.  The results were very light, delicious pancakes, crispy bacon, perfect over easy eggs and a happy family.  The Missus admitted afterward that she’d love for me to do dinner more often, but she’s loath to ask for the night off.  Much better if I just decide to do it.  I apologized for not doing it more often, admitting that it just didn’t occur to me.  And that’s the thing, that’s what makes any kind of relationship work better, thinking outside the box of habit and volunteering to do extra sometimes.  It’s a wonderful gift, doing something for someone without having to be asked and I will do my best to remember that more often.

We’re wrapping up the evening with more World Cup soccer, Germany vs. England.  The ElderSpawn is in bed, looking forward to a week of day camp starting tomorrow.  My wife is dozing on the couch and the Little Bit is harassing her.  Shaking her, pulling on her covers and screeching like jungle bird, or a small howler monkey.  Ahhh.. this time she had a reason, she wanted to nurse.

I’ll leave you with a picture from my yard, a group of very dramatic looking flowers that emit an odor like rotting flesh.  We inherited them form one of the previous owners, and now they’ve spread from the original planting to another cluster near the front door.  As it is, the scent of death wafts regularly into our patio area for the short week or so they bloom, so I routed the second infestation earlier this year.  Next I’ll thin the remaining stand because as interesting as they are too look at, there’s only so much death smell we should have to put up with, right?

Here are the Dracunculus vulgaris, or Stink Lily:

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