Monday, December 15, 2008

Nessa for a Day

Hi. I'm Jonathan, Vanessa's husband. You might know me from real life or from an occasional mention on Nessa's blog ;). For an accurate description of me, look no further than Meaghan's comment on a previous post ;). (Am I allowed to put two ;) in a row?)

Vanessa isn't here right now to write a blog post. She's camping out at the hospital tonight. Don't worry. Her mother had a routine, scheduled surgery (that went just fine) and will be staying with us for a few days starting tomorrow. Once she feels better we'll let her earn her keep by watching the kiddos while Ness and I escape to a movie. Synecdoche, New York, anyone?

But I digress. This morning started as most mornings do, with Finn and the dog executing coordinated attacks on my person. But within a few seconds Vanessa was out the door, and I was left to tend to breakfast and school and poop and errands. It was like Freaky Friday, only not really, and also I really hate that movie.

Breakfast was easy. Nessa makes these great pumpkin/apple sauce muffins and wait, I'm going to have one now.

Okay, I'm back. Man, those are good. So we had muffins and orange juice for breakfast. Finn ate half of his muffin frozen before I convinced him that it would be better heated up. I also heard him tell Audrie "You crazy, girl!" at the table. Take that, kid in Jerry McGuire.

Next up was school with Audrie. We started with piano practice. My job was to not interrupt her by banging on the keys or dragging out my guitar for an impromptu jam session (I play a mean Row Row Row Your Boat as long as the only chord is E.)

Then we shifted focus to Math and Language Arts and Spanish. Audrie is a good teacher and I learned a lot. For instance, a peck is eight quarts. And Mrs. is short for Mistress. Who knew? No you didn't. Or in Spanish: No usted no.

After school we zipped over to Home Depot to get manly things for manly projects. As we entered an associate spotted us and insisted that I switch Finn out of the normal shopping cart into the deluxe-everyone-look-at-me-where-did-my-dignity-go-race-car shopping cart. I begrudgingly agreed, and Audrie climbed up into it as well. This thing was double the size of a normal cart and I could not have felt more stupid. Fast forward 20 seconds and we were zooming up and down the isles. That thing could really corner, and when I worked up enough momentum, I could put most of my weight onto the cart and my shoes would work as skis on the polished concrete. The kids pleaded with me to take the longest way possible up to the checkout. I need to think up a reason to go back tomorrow.

Next up was late-fee-paying-book-renewing at the library. I parked up close and handed Audrie a few dollars, the offending book and the library card. She was surprised that she was going in the library alone to pay for something. Small steps to adulthood.

If Ness would have been with us she might have asked if it was okay for Audrie to go in alone. And I would have answered yes with all certainty. But without her there to ask, I felt less self assured. Why is it that marriages work this way?

Audrie took a number of minutes, and I had to remind myself that it was ridiculous to worry about an almost eight year old in a library 20 feet away. By the time my father was eight he was killing and dressing deer. Well, maybe not my dad, but someone's. By the time Audrie has kids it will be considered too dangerous to let them learn to walk without helmets.

But still. It just takes a minute for a bad thing to happen. How do you ever know? In the end you have to risk some level of their safety in order to give them a chance to grow. But where is the line?

Before I could work out the definitive, universally true answer for this, Audrie made it back alive and we stopped by Jack in the Box (yeah yeah, I know!) on the way home.

The kids watched Narnia, which gave me a chance to clean up and do some work.

Then we played and cleaned up after Trixie (dog), who seems to really hate or love our rug. I'm not sure what the Dog meaning of "I pee on you a lot" is.

After a dinner of homemade lunchables and a bath it was time for bed.

Oh, Finn started singing Happy Birthday at dinner, and he made his own candles.

And then Audrie joined in.

That's right. My kids think those muffins are as good as birthday cake. But then again, they also thought that their fingers were on fire.

Then, for triple word score I sealed the grout in the kids' bath.

I know Meaghan. Cute AND awesome.

So now it's about time for my morning shower. Except that we need to replace the glass. So, yeah, a bath. And while I'm playing Mr. Mom I might as well down some white wine, crack open one of those Twilight vampire books and shave my legs. Hurry home Nessa.

Oh, before I go! As you know, Vanessa is an incredible artist. Since I took over her other responsibilities for a day, I thought that I'd give the whole "painting" thing a go.

I'm not sure if it's any good. Let me know.



Vivi said...

Ness? Ness, come home.

Abby said...

You're funny. And you write really long blogs.

Momo said...

Hi Jon! Enjoyed reading your blow by blow account. Sounds like you are having fun.

Meaghan said...

okay, seriously! i said one thing, and the guy thinks he's a movie star! i actually just laughed out loud though... so ya'll home school, huh? i never thought about dad having to take over those duties while mom's away.

Donna VanCleve said...

After reading all of that, I've decided we need to hear from you regularly, too, Jon-- a different perspective from inside the same house. Thanks for sharing your wife with me for a couple of fuzzy days. I hope I didn't embarrass her too much.