Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Spending time in the kitchens

"How was your day dear?" my wife asks me as I walk in the door.

"Great!" I say in a sarcastic tone, "how was yours?"

In the background you can hear the familiar tune of "A, B, C, D...." as our son stands in front of out fridge repeatedly pressing a button that plays the song over and over... yet he never lets it get to any farther than D.

"Oh, it was good..." she continues, talking as she rumages through our pantry, most likely looking for something to cook us dinner for that evening. "Just a few more days until summer starts..."

I am also excited about the idea of summer because this summer will be my first I can actually enjoy without the lingering and painful thought of having to register for another semester of school. I am graduating this May and am so very excited about the accomplishment. Now, I say this in hopes that I pass my three remaining classes and that the party my wife has been planning for a month will not go all to waste.

"Oh, I'm ready for some warm weather..." I say. "We really need a vacation."

A vacation is not in our near future, however, due to the bundle of joy that the stork is dropping off at our door step come the end of June. I see him on the radar getting closer every day whenever I wake up and see that my wife, Laura's, belly is expanding at an alarming rate.

"My back is killing me," says Laura. "I feel like Elle just can't get comfortable for some reason."

We have decided to call our little girl "Elle." You may be a bit confused, but it is pretty simple, it isn't pronounced, "Ellie" it is just like the magazine or letter! Her full name is Estelle Lillian, but we are going to call her "Elle" for short. Sweet, simple, classy... well, atleast we think so.

"Dadadadadada," my son says as he come toddling to me at a quickening pace.

"Boom!" Laura and I say in unison. He gets to going so fast he can't seem to stop so he inevitably falls face down. Then we wait, we wait for the cry or the laugh. Thankfully this time he became distracted by a toy he saw on the floor near by and headed that way over to "his" kitchen area that his Aunt and Grandmother purchased for him at a garage sale. It is a pretty impressive set up he has, however, I will say the lack of food in his kitchen makes it seem like he is in a baby recession. Maybe they sell the food and baby food stamps too!

"Oh that's the correct place for this," Laura says as she opens the little, silver fridge door.

"What is it?" I asked.

"His phone, he put his phone and a blue block in his fridge," Laura said.

"Well, maybe that's where he knew he'd find it!" I said. "If I remember correctly you seem to misplace things a lot nowadays!"

"It's because I'm pregnant," she continued. "I can't help it!"

She reached down to pick up our little boy who was quickly pulling everything out of the cabinets where we keep "his" bowls. The bowls were actually a wedding gift from, well, I actually don't remember, but we still use them to cook with, but due to the multicoloredness they seem to make for fun play items for a 13 month old.

"Da!" Mauldin retorted. His right arm quickly rose and he pointed in the direction of the stairs, no where near where "daddy" was standing.

"Mauldin," I said. "Gimme five."

He quickly patted my right hand and proceeded to clap as if he knew he had done something correct.

"Yay!" We all clapped to show we approved of his accomplishment.

"Okay, Mauldin, are you ready for bath time?" I asked as if I was expecting a competent "why yes father, I would appreciate you taking me upstairs so I can bathe this evening... and afterwards I would prefer a massage while you sing "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and we can end the evening with a rendition of my favorite story, Pat them gently.

Instead all I got was "Da!"

One day at a time.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Trust in a modern world

I have always worried, worried that I would not be able to teach my child important things. You may say “what kind of things?” Well, I am not talking about stuff like riding a bike, casting a fishing line or even running a mile. What I am talking about are life lessons… like “being a honest person,“ “being courteous,” or “going with your gut!” I have always wondered how does one actually teach this trait? It isn’t really learned in school, or the home, but more of a life lesson one learns as they grow up.

You see random acts of kindness here and there, but you go on about your day and never really think about them. For instance, my wife, Laura, and I were out at Old Navy, we had purchased over the amount we had intended to do. We were in line ready to check out and a lady, we will call her the “Coupon fairy” and she handed us a coupon that ended up taking 30% off every thing we bought! It was amazing… but we went on and never really told anyone about it.

I was thinking about it and wondered.. does my little boy truly trust anyone besides his mommy and daddy yet? I mean there are different levels of trust, of course, but what is going through his mind when he is playing at daycare with his BFF Ben?

The idea of trust can get you in trouble sometimes… but there are instances when you have a feeling about someone that allows you to step out of your controlled comfort zone and let someone else do something for you.

I walk into a large brick building in the middle of the KSU campus, I push through the large doors, walk in and stretch my neck around the corner, to the right. I do this every Monday/Wednesday right before my Econ class. I have a huge gap of time between classes so I want to make sure I get my spot at the same table because this is where I hook my computer up. The building doesn’t seem to have ample plug-ins so everyone with a laptop computer or dying cell phone have them monopolized.

As fate would have it someone is sitting at my table on this very day, this very moment and my dreams of getting a blog written are dashed to the wind… At first, I see my nemesis at the, no my table. She is a young, Hispanic chick wearing bejeweled sandals and her toes are painted pale pink. Do I engage in conversation in hopes she will invite me to the table? Do I ask her for the time so she will look over and maybe offer the empty spot across from her so I can boot up my low battery? What am I to do, how am I to proceed? What if this girl is a total bitch and/or thinks I am hitting on her? I must choose my words carefully and stealthfully… my computer’s life depends on this stranger with pink toe nails.

“Hi,” I say “excuse me.”

She looks over, her pony tail swings to the left. “Yes?” she smiles.

“Do you mind if I plug my computer in at your table?” I ask.

Her table? It’s MY table… but I must be kind or I could be sitting at a squatty, little table with no way to connect to the World Wide Web.


“Great,” I reply. “Thanks so much! I really need to study.”

The false statement just fell out of my mouth. I was intending to study, I wanted to write my blog! I’m such a blog whore.

The trust had been initiated, but my next step whet far beyond my expectation. I was not expecting to strike up a convo with this person... I don’t even want to know her name, but right now, at this very moment I need her. I need her to watch my computer so I can take about 20 paces in the opposite direction to grab a quick snack from the “Einstein Bros Bagel” Shoppe. I don’t like bagels per say I like their overgrown muffins… I should lay off of them because I am starting to get a muffin-top of my own.

“Hi,” I say after a short stint at the table. “How long do you expect to be here?”

As soon as I said this statement I wanted to retract it due to the response it may get. She probably thinks I am being an ass… she lent out her extra seat to a sad, college guy with no battery power and he already wants the whole outlet to himself. What a prick!

“Oh, probably 30 more minutes or so.” She replied with a hint of Spanish-heritage, like the Latin lady from Modern Family. (I love that show!)

“Great!” I continued. “Would you mind watching my computer while I run around the corner to the Bagel Shoppe?”

“No problem,” she responded. “Sure!”

Now remember, I don’t even know this girl’s name? All I know is she has conficasted my favorite waiting table and she may be hurtin’ for money and I will come back and all my stuff will be gone, including my computer which has the hard files with all my research for my Communication Capstone paper... then I don't graduate in May.. NO!

“What was I thinking,” I thought to myself as I stood in line at the Bagel shop.

“What would you like, Sir?”

I stood there thinking to myself, already having my phone in my hand ready to call campus police on the pink toed bandit who was waiting for me to gain my trust and take off with my HP Laptop complete with intel Centrino Duo chip!

“Sir?” the lady behind the counter repeated.

“Oh, a chocolate muffin please.” I said. “Oh and two waters.”

I went ahead and got another water for pink toed, Hispanic chick for watching my things at MY table.

“That will be $5.05”

I hand her my debit card and head back, quickly to the table hoping and praying she was still there and all my things would be there was well.

I felt like a total ass for doubting the kindness of a stranger.

I sat in my seat and reached over with the extra water.

“Thank you for watching my stuff” I said.

“Oh wow!” she replied. “Thank you!”

So, lesson learned, no matter how much life sucks and you feel like you can’t trust people… there are some people out there… some people who are nice, trustworthy people. So, whenever my little boy gets screwed over by a little friend at school I will be sure to tell him the story of the Hispanic chick with the pink toes.