Friday, February 23, 2007

"If You Had Told Me Five Years Ago"--Annotations

Apparently, not all the items in my "If You Had Told Me Five Years Ago" post are self-explanatory. I offer the following annotations for the confused:

willingly eat food that someone else had chewed on
Nessa often wants what someone else is having to eat, yet won't accept just having a bite broken off. But she usually can't finish a whole piece of toast or whatever. Seems a shame to let all that food go to waste...

think a crying baby was cute
I was uncomfortable around babies and small children before I had one of my own. I especially didn't deal well with crying children. Now that I have Nessa, I've learned that there's crying and then there's crying. Sometimes, that quivering lower lip and perfect pout are just too cute for words, and one can pause briefly to acknowledge that. (If she retains this trait into adulthood, some lucky guy may have to budget for lots of flowers--and maybe jewelry...)

be happy and comfortable talking to two-year-olds
Again, I never knew what to say to young children before I had one. Now I can natter away all day if the circumstances are right.

willingly take a crying child into a grocery store
One day recently, after picking up Nessa from daycare, I had to stop at the grocery store to get something Tami needed to make supper. Nessa was not happy to see only Daddy that day, and when it became obvious we weren't going straight home, she let me know it in no uncetain terms. Not stopping at the grocery store was not an option, so I took her inside hoping that something would distract her and get her to stop crying. I got lucky--it worked. Apparently all that shopping we do together has its advantages.

be grumpy because the kitchen was a mess (and clean it up before doing anything else)
This is my biggest surprise of married life. My bachelor kitchen was rarely filthy, but I often let dishes that had only been rinsed stack up for a day or two (especially before I got the cats). But when Tami and I were first married she had a long commute from La Crosse to Rochester, so I did most of the cooking. Our limited counter space, combined with wanting to have the cooking dishes clean because I would soon need them again (plus, of course, the cats), quickly got me into the habit of cleaning up the dishes immediately after a meal.

I'll never forget the Sunday that first fall that I was cleaning up a few things in the kitchen even though the football games had already started. I realized I was doing it because I wouldn't be happy if I just left the dirty dishes in the sink. It then hit me, like a 2x4 upside the head, that, in spite of all of my efforts and best intentions, I had become a grown-up.

actively dispense baby product information and advice
Like Tami, I am happy to proselytize for our favorite baby products, and I take the opportunity to do so with co-workers who are expecting, or who have children younger than Nessa. Some days you'd swear I actually know what I'm talking about...

intentionally purchase rutabagas, turnips, bak choy, and kale
I am not a vegetarian. I have little use for most vegetables, and actively despise many of them--much to the despair of first my mother and now my wife. But, for various reasons, I do most of the grocery shopping. (I actually enjoy it. Sometimes I'm so damn domestic I think I've been possessed.) So when Tami needed various esoteric vegetables for some soups she wanted to make for herself, I procured them in the course of one of my regular grocery trips. Thank goodness the produce department was well-labeled: I didn't know a turnip from a parsnip, nor bak choy from nunchucks, when I walked in.

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