The Puny Pundit

Musings of a big guy with small thoughts.

Whatever It Takes | Part 2

Many years ago my wife brought #2 into the world.  #1 was 13 months old.  We lived in a 700 sq. ft. apartment at the seminary I was studying at.  We were really young parents at the time not knowing what we were doing.  Sure we had baby before, but we didn’t have experience raising two little ones.  My wife was struggling with breast feeding one while parenting the other.  Those of you who just had your first child….imagine all that you are going through except with a 13 month old wandering around the house and occasionally throwing hissy fits to get attention.

Back then trying to get our kids to sleep was the greatest challenge.  We had no problems letting them cry and sleep training them but our apartment and over parenting caused us to do some strange things.  For example, ever since #1 was born, once the kids went down to bed, we never never never flushed the toilet.  We were afraid it would wake them up.  When we watched tv or a movie at night I would move the sofa two feet away from the tv with the volume very low and captions on.  Every movie was like a foreign movie with subtitles.

The reason I share this with you is because this noise reduction exercise we did left us in a dilemma.  How do you put #1 to sleep while taking care of #2.  Putting #1 to sleep, back then, took us a long time.  She hated it.  Normally we would go military style and sleep train, but my wife wanted to be sensitive to the fact that she was dealing with a new member of our family at such a young age.  So one night (like every night) my wife was putting #1 to bed while I was watching tv.

#2 starts to cry.  I knew my wife was still trying to put #1 to bed so I had to get #2 to stop otherwise #1 would wake up or be delayed in her sleep.  Nothing would calm her down.  I tried the pacifier.  I checked her diaper.  I tried to whisper a song into her ear.  I had to do something.  We were so sleep deprived and emotionally drained I didn’t want to prolong the time my wife would have to be with #1 getting her to sleep.  So what did I do?

I whip out my left man boob and let her go at it so she will stop crying in the hopes she would think it was mama time.  I don’t know why I did that.  I mean I knew she was hungry.  My instincts took over and…wow…I can’t believe I actually did that.  It was the most awkward, uncomfortable, painful experience of my life.  It kind of tickled.  It kind of hurt.  I was taking one for the team and literally sacrificed my body for my family.  How long did this thing go on?  Not very long.  I couldn’t take it anymore so I took #2 off my breast.  She starts screaming.  My wife comes in and takes over.  She feeds while asking what happened…why #2 was crying on and off.

I proudly smiled and told her what I did for our family.  Covering her mouth with one of her hands she laughed shaking her head side to side with #2 on her left boob.  She laughed so hard I thought she might drop #2.  She was laughing thinking to herself, “I can’t believe you did that!”  I was thinking, “I can’t believe you have to do that!”

BTW…if you are wondering where “part 1” of this title is CLICK HERE.

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Awkward Love | the song

My wife and I are very different when it comes to romance.  I am sentimental.  I love surprises.  My wife does not like romantic gestures.  Although she likes flowers and likes being taken to nice places, she does not like cheesy romantic gestures.  In light of Valentine’s Day I would like to share three stories (one each day) of how these differences have led to some really awkward moments in our relationship.

12 years ago I wrote my wife (who was my girlfriend at the time) a song.  I had never written a song before even though I tried several times.  They all ended up having the exact melody of a song already written with different lyrics.  This one was different.  It was original and in my opinion conceptually very strong.  The song was called “Five Foot Two”.  The gist of the song…the verses focused on the irony that I was so scared, nervous, and insecure as a 6’2″ man when confronted with a woman who was a mere 5’2″.  The chorus focused on the theme that my love though small (like a seed) blossomed and grew to become 5’2″.

Conceptually strong right?  No?  Whatever.  So for a special date I took her to Rose Hills where my grandmother was buried.  Those of you who are from the east coast…west coast graves are totally different than the east coast horror movie upright tombstone graveyards.  In Los Angeles graves are beautiful rolling green hills where the tombstone lies flat on the ground.  Anyways, my grandmother and I were really really close.  She repeatedly told my mom that she doesn’t care when she dies as long as she could meet my wife.  Well, my grandmother passed when I was 15 so her wish went unfulfilled.  I wanted to take my wife there as a sentimental gesture to connect my wife with my grandmother.  They seriously would have loved each other.

So I prepare a picnic and then bust out my guitar to sing the greatest love song of all time.  I poured out my heart in this song.  It was a little awkward so I just closed my eyes to concentrate on delivering the song with my soul.  I finish.  My wife starts to look around at the sky and the scenery.  No comment.  Just really really awkward silence.  I put the guitar down and ask, “So what did you think?”

She replied, “Yeah…well…I don’t know what to say.”

I respond, “Well did you like it?”

She said, “I mean…yeah…wow…I have no idea how to respond to that.”

At this point I am curled up in fetal position ready to bury myself 12 feet underground.  There are two things in my life I have done once and have vowed to never ever do again in public: sing a song I wrote and dance.  My freshman year in college my roommate and I went to freshman orientation.  There was a dance afterwards.  A couple of girls come up and wanna dance.  I never danced in public before but I had been secretly practicing since I was 5.  So I was ready.  I proceed with what I thought was the “Roger Rabbit”, transitioned seamlessly into the “Kid N Play”, moving on to the “Running Man”.  I even attempted to combine the “Kid N Play” with the “Running Man”.  I closed out my combination of moves by trying to freak the taller of the two girls.  They covered their mouthes and and walked away.

The feeling I had at that moment is how I felt after singing my song.  My wife and I joke about that moment every year without fail.  She smiles and shakes her head while I my soul grieves.  We laugh, I cry.

Btw…in my wife’s defense I shared that song with a friend 7 years later.  He said, “Dude, that sounds like an Adam Sandler song.”

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I Hate Rats

Last year during the winter we developed a pretty big rat problem.  We had a few rats who decided to move into our California basement.  One of them made it up to our first floor and made a little studio apartment behind our upright piano.  He stole some socks and underwear from the laundry room and made a bed out of them.  We didn’t know he was around because he pooped under and behind things.  It was awesome.

When I found him I tried to scare him into a glue trap however he kicked it aside and made a b-line for the a/c vent in my office where he was living.  The house we live in is very old so the a/c and heater come through vents located on the floor.  He gets into the vent and slides back down into the basement in a well choreographed escape plan.

The pest control couldn’t make it for a few days so we were stuck knowing that we were cohabitating with a few rats.  The pest guy said we should put all food away and wipe down counters and floors everyday.  Why you ask?  Well we found out that rats pee while walking around your house.  We couldn’t block off all the possible entry points because there were too many.  So every morning for four days my wife, unbeknownst to me, woke up 5am everyday and wiped down every counter top, table top, and floors on the first floor with anti-bacterial stuff.

Well, the pest guys came.  Killed most of the rats and blocked out the rest.

Couple of days ago, I was walking into the house and thought I saw a rat in our basement through an outdoor vent.  It really scared me not only because of what we went through before, but because I really hate rats.  So I told my 7 year old son to take a flash light and go check out the basement.  My wife was half smiling (because she thought I was surely kidding) and half puzzled (because she knows me really well and was processing the reality that I wasn’t).

So my son goes down.  Wait…before you judge me…I was standing at the top of the basement encouraging him and reassuring him that I was there for him…at the top by the door.  He cautiously walks down with the flash light and looks around.  I ask him if there are any rats and he is slowly realizing what he agreed to do.  As soon as I asked, “So are there any rats?”  He got scared and started walking back up to the top.  I sternly told him to man up and look around some more.  His sisters are all next to me worried for their brother.  I assured them he was fine.  #4 looked down and asked, “Are you ok #3?  Aren’t you scared that a rat might come out?”

That’s when it hit him.  He runs back up and hands me the flash light and says, “I don’t want to do this anymore.”  I am really annoyed at this point because I am pretty sure he didn’t look around thoroughly.  So I grab the flash light and take a few steps down into the basement.  I bend over to look around but as I do my hair gets caught up it a huge spider web.  I squeal like a little squeaky toy and run up to the top.  I locked the basement door and told everyone to get back to school work.

I am gonna call the pest control tomorrow.  Actually I told my wife to call.  I specifically asked her to tell the pest dude that she is a single mom that needs a man to look for her since she is too scared and all alone.

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