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.