Signs of the Time

Remember before you were married when you thought your spouse was the hippest, coolest thing on the block? I do. I wish I had pictures on my computer of those days so I could show you the proof. Man, Scott was the coolest.

Of course I gave a lot of thought to our future, you know, the important things like how cute of a couple we would be, how we would always laugh so hard together we'd cry, and how much fun we would have. Sometimes, I would actually manage to tear myself away from the daydreaming and get serious about how Scott would be as a father. I always managed to conjure up adorable images that just melted my heart. You know, something like this:

And while we have had tender, sweet moments with our kids, some six years after all the unrealistic daydreaming, they haven't been at all what I thought they would be.

Like take for example how Scott has taken it upon himself to enlighten Henry in the ways of the world, especially the music world. The other day Scott was monkeying around with the iPod docking station, getting ready to musically enlighten our boy (probably with Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, or maybe even Arcade Fire), and here's how the "tender moment" went down:

Scott: Okay Hen, here it comes ... get ready to rock.

Henry (high-pitched little voice, with a darling amount of hope and expectation): Oh ... Elmo?!?!

Scott: What? ... Elmo? ... No, Hen! Not Elmo.


Scott has also appointed himself Henry's tutor in his mastery of the English language. For some reason, Henry gets his consonants mixed up sometimes. For example, "dog" is sometimes "gog" and "garage" is "duh-wahhhge." Here's how the lunch-time tutoring session went today:

Henry: I want some frapes. [Alas, it's true, Henry does not say "please" and "thank you" on a regular basis. Hey Tutor! Did you skip that chapter?!?]

Scott: Okay, but say, "GRape."

Henry: FRape.

Scott: Guh, Guh, GuhRape.

Henry: Guh, Guh, FuhRape!


And then there are those "tender moments" that remind me that the "too cool for school" person I fell in love with is long gone. Like this, for example:

Scott [while helping Henry "clean up" after doing some serious business, if you know what I mean, in the bathroom]: Okay, Bud. Let me wipe your buns. Bend over and grab your ankies.

Henry: (Silence) [He's all business these days with the business in the bathroom.]

5 years ago I would never have dreamed Scott would call a "butt," "buns," and/or subscribe to the parenting school of thought where even the most ordinary of words gets a cutesy nickname (i.e. "ankles" becomes "ankies") -- not to mention willingly entering a situation that requires the use of BOTH of these terms.


Whenever I catch little conversations like these I always think about how old I am or at least how old I must be because I have a husband who is talking to our children. But, I'm still young and hip, right? (Girbaud jeans, y'all. They're still in, right?) But when I hear Scott -- SCOTT! of all people -- talking about Elmo and "going poops on the potty" and his SON wanting "mulk," I inevitably think, "Oh man ... has my life changed!" It's a sign of the times -- I'm old.

So what happened to my "cool kid?" Apparently, he no longer has the time (not to mention the money!) to rock climb, fish, and snowboard whenever he wants. He doesn't wear the latest, coolest outdoorsy clothes anymore. And heck! He doesn't even have the long-ish hairdo anymore (even though he would still like to but has taken one for the team on that one).

Now I've got someone else in his place.

Not surprisingly, he's not the "perfect", Kodak-moment-father I was thinking of in my not-quite-adult daydreams. In his place is a funnier-than-I-imagined, crazier, gentler, awesome dad who still cracks me up just by listening to his interchanges with our kids.

Instead of soft, sweet, constantly romantic moments of a father softly humming his child to sleep in his arms or reading hours and hours of books out loud, our"tender moments" are better. More real.

And there seem to be a lot more "knuckies" involved.


Adrienne said...

Cels....what a cute post! I'm serious, I love this one. I think that about Jim all the time! Mr. Latex gloves, number-cruncher has come so far as a dad.

I thought that exact same thing the other day when Kate kept itching her butt, and Jim took her into the bathroom to "check" things out. Who could have imagined?
I can so hear Scott's voice in all of those stories, and it's great that you posted about it to journal it.

Heidi said...

Cels, I think Scott owes you like hundreds of dollars for that beautiful post.

What a poignant and true insight into married life and parenting. So much better in real life (well, most of the time)!

Janene said...

Celia--I've never been to your blog before. WAY CUTE! I loved your signs of the time. I feel exactly the same way looking at Dan. I mean, did you ever imagine him as a super, strict, responsible, loving, always studying Dad? Not me. Your kids are darling! Good to hear from you!

Two Ladies and No Baby said...

Dear Cel-
The thing is....I feel the same about Ally. Before we were reunited I was like she is so cool, but how is she going to be as a mom, ya know? Well we are dog sitting this week and the "crap" she has done for Rrrosa, seriously I was shocked.
P.S. am I a smart A?

Heidi said...

Cels-you're not a comment hog--it shows how much you care that you're willing to spend like, hours, on a comment.

And I'm SO sorry. My next award--goes to you! If it makes you feel better A got all offended when I said that I was intimidated to have you and Aunt Kay reading my blog. She was all, "WHAT? I'M an English MAJOR,too!"

So, I'm sorry. Middle kids do have to stick together. You're next on my list.

Wendy said...

I LOVE this post. I doubt the guys in our lives never imagined how "deep" into fatherhood they would go. Every time I see Jake huge fingers trying to get a tiny bracelet on Tess' wrist I can just feel how out of his element he is. Love these guys, love this post!

Celia and Scott said...

Thanks Wendy! It IS so cute and funny to see our husbands interact with our kids -- especially the girls. Ruby doesn't have enough hair yet for Scott to have to actually do "hairdos" yet but I can't wait to see what he conjures up when that times arrives. Poor Rubes. I'm already afraid for her.

Sara said...

This post is so true...and game over with the girbaud jeans reference. I just found you through a crazy blog maze...long story short- I'm Shelly's sister in law. I'll be checking back to read more greatness- and it was fun to see pictures of Nate and the kids:)

The Taylors said...

You summed it up quite nicely. Life is a lot different than old daydreams, but it's real and it's ours. I love reading your blog. It's SO entertaining. I love hearing about the good and the bad.

I'm glad you found my blog. Keep in touch.

Mandy said...

OK. Lets talk about a few things. Yes, the whole rendition of the Mandy song did go a little too far. I have always hated that song and so I feel like that probably wasn't the best way to address me after all these years. But, then you bore your testimony and that was it-you had me at blogging. Anyway, I saw that you had me under techie friends and I was wondering if you could make another section that would suit me better. As you can see from my site I'm not so good at this type of a thing. Tyler started one and insisted I do so as well. Whatever. You kids are so cute and your little girl looks just like you! Its wierd, we have kids. We're turning 30. Thought I'd be dead by now. Fill me in on life when you get a second. It was so good to hear from you. Please don't make fun of my blog behind my back. Its rude and I will find out! See ya later Celiathrillya.

ali degraff said...

another great read. you and adrienne should write a book!

Sharon said...

Celia, I take full credit for all the good stuff about Scott but just know that it's Hal's fault when he is bad. Just so that's perfectly clear. Seriously, it is so great to see both of my sons be such great Dads. You and Nikell have taught them well!

harmony said...

I just wanted to back up the statement that Scott was the coolest. I was there mind you. You were a step ahead of me in that I didn't even think of how Todd would be as a father. It must be that crazy in love mindset. Boy, did I ever luck out. Dad's are the best thing ever.