Work is slow and so today I’m babysitting while Janice drives up to Michigan to help Grandma Detweiler clean, bake, gossip, and whatever else women do in groups. I know it’s not politically correct to assume women enjoy different things than men (especially activities in the kitchen) but since when has anything with the label “political” made any sense in the real world? Women are different than men and that’s a good thing. Babysitting always highlights the fact that my wife, Janice actually has motherly superpowers.
Right before she left, Janice gives me wardrobe instructions for Adi. “She has a yellow long sleeve onesie in the top drawer. That should go well with her blue bib overalls that have flowers on them.”
I spent forty five minutes digging through one drawer looking for a yellow long sleeve onesie. This could be because Adi has too many onesies or because I’m colorblind, not sure. I finally found it and wrestled Adi into the approved outfit. The struggle made Adi hungry. She looks up at me with large, pleading eyes, “Hungee.”
“Aww! You’re hungry? OK, let’s go get something to eat!” Adi’s little feet pitter-patter through the dining room towards the kitchen, where most of the food originates in our house before it gets lost in the carpet and in between the couch cushions. We open up the cupboard doors at the far end of the kitchen. All I see is a bag of flour, a little granola, popcorn, an odd assortment of cans containing tomato juice, and a bag of tortilla chips. The tortilla chips are stale because since Janice has been going through the first trimester of pregnancy, she claims that tortilla chips smell bad so they’ve been banished to the remote regions of the cupboard. I bend over and squint so I can see further into dingy interior. There’s other strange items near the back hanging out in the shadows but nothing that looks fun to eat.
We search the whole kitchen with a magnifying glass and rumbling tummies but can’t find anything tasty to munch, unless you happen to like peanut butter. There’s a whole jar of peanut butter in there and that might keep you going for awhile. I mean “going” as in it will satisfy your body’s need for calories, not that it will help you go, if you catch my drift. It will likely be more of a hindrance than a help in that department.
“How about eggs and bacon?” I know how to make eggs and bacon. I get out a carton of eggs fresh from Grandma Detweiler’s flock. There’s a raging trend right now to know your food comes from. I mean, not in the literal sense; hopefully people know where bacon and eggs come from but maybe I’m giving people too much credit. The modern parent seems to think that somehow their eggs are carefully constructed from GMO’s and asbestos in a chemical filled fertilizer factory and no longer pop out of the rear end of a chicken. With the eggs that we get from our in-laws, there’s no doubt as to where they come from since there’s plenty of evidence left on the egg. In case the poop doesn’t give it away, the occasional feather will. Our eggs come from real chickens!
Janice comes home and begins to catch up on how the day went. “What did you feed Adi?”
“Bacon and eggs.”
“Again? She needs to eat more than that.”
Janice opens the cupboard, pulls out a black top hat, sticks her hand into it and yells “Abracadabra!” then pulls out a hot, nutritionally balanced meal neatly arranged on a plate.
“How did you do that!?”
“What? This? It’s just some leftovers I threw together.”
Another thing I underestimated about parenting is how much work it takes to keep a 20 month old toddler occupied. It’s like owning a Siberian Husky. They are cute, intelligent, and hyperactive dogs but you can’t just lock them in a pen and admire those qualities only when you feel like it. They get bored and mischievous and begin to chew on things and dig holes. The same applies to children. Adi is smart, and that’s great, but every so often I wish she was a little more like an English Bulldog and she would be content sitting in a corner while vacantly staring at the wall. Of course, I don’t mean to offend you if your child does that; at least your child is still cuter than an English Bulldog.
Then again, when Adilene is quiet it’s not very comforting. It usually means she’s found a way to entertain herself; such as dumping Janice’s flowerpots and rolling in the dirt, writing on the coffee table, or squeezing her yogurt pouch out into a large puddle on the carpet then rubbing her hands around in it. You can’t just turn off her creative traits and then turn them back on again when you want to enjoy them. You have to foster them every minute of every day. Of course, right now she’s watching Ice Age for the 4,358th time so maybe I should practice what I preach.
That’s why God designed parenthood as a team effort. Kids are just a lot of work and it’s not like you can take the batteries out and set them in the corner when you’re tired of them. Janice has been saying for awhile now that we need a bigger backyard for Adi to play in. I agreed with her but what was I supposed to do? Knock the fence down and see if the neighbor notices if we use his yard as well? What do you do when you can’t figure a way out of your situation? I don’t know about you but I usually scream and holler, then moan and complain, then make a mess of it trying to fix it myself, and then when all else fails, I pray about it. I know it’s not the right order of events but I’m a human being and I’m still working on this life thing.
We did ask God for a place with a bigger yard that didn’t cost any more to rent and it seems God has answered our prayers. We’ve found a place in Centreville, Michigan that has a 4 or 5 acre property surrounded by fields and trees. It’s actually a few dollars less a month than we’re currently paying for rent. It’s about 40 minutes north of where we live now and so we’ll also be much closer to Grandpa and Grandma Detweiler. The only downside is that we’ll have to live in a mobile home. I have this phobia of mobile homes and the stigma that goes with them. This is probably because my mom complained endlessly about the mobile home she had to live in right after my mom and dad got married. Plus, most people I see living in mobile homes eat nothing but TV dinners, store their old cars on cement blocks in the yard, and then chain old, grumpy dogs to them. God is probably working on my pride. He likes to do things like that. I can give up a nicer house in exchange for room to run, space to build campfires, and a hill to go sledding on in the winter (Indiana has a real lack of hills).
As the first trimester of pregnancy winds down, Janice’s supernatural sense of smell is starting to wane. This means she is feeling better! Plus, I can once again make coffee in the house and use up what’s left of my Old Spice body wash. The other body wash I was using we purchased from Yoder’s Bent and Dent Emporium and it smells like lemon zest dish soap, which I don’t particularly enjoy but apparently it passes a pregnant woman’s smell test.
We, of course, aren’t living in Ohio fixing missionary airplanes yet and so this means we haven’t raised our support quota yet. We need to reach 100% before we can move. Right now we need monthly, bi-annual, or anuual support pledges. One time gifts are appreciated but they do not count towards our monthly support goal and so they don’t help us actually start the apprenticeship (although we’ll have access to those gifts once we’re doing the apprenticeship). Consider breaking your support into, say $10/month instead of a larger one time gift. Then it will help us get closer to our support quota. Click here for support info.
I never thought I’d look forward to moving to Ohio so much. Life is funny that way.