Saturday, March 16, 2013

Surfing & Fatherhood

Four and half years on and I have yet to find a way to balance fatherhood and surfing.  Prior to Munchkin 1, I was surfing 3-4 times per week when the conditions were right.  This was a large time commitment that Natalie tolerated because she knew that I was passionate about it.  Post Munchkin 1, I was surfing 3-4 times per month.  To those of you that don't surf, am I sure that this still seems like a lot, and in hindsight, it seems like a lot to me now too.

Now that the population of Munchkinland has doubled and my work schedule has changed, I am surfing once a month, maybe.  I think that there was a stretch from October - January that I didn't surf 
at all.  

This is partly due to the fact that I have a one day a week window in which a multitude of things must go right.  This is my pre-launch check list:
  1. The forces of nature must all coincide to create surf-able waves.  This does still happen quite regularly.
  2. I then cross reference the Munchkinland Social Events & Outings Calendar to look for any conflicts with birthday parties, festivals, day trips, play dates, cookie/cupcake/brownie decorating demos, etc.
  3. Once I have identified a 4-5 hour window that I might be able to claim for myself, an application for a surf pass has to be submitted in advance and confirmation of approval must be obtained.  My understanding has always been that the Surf Pass Review Board is comprised of just one member, however the most recent review was open to the public and Munchkin 1 cast a nay vote.  (I challenged the validity of her vote and my challenge was upheld, but I will not forget that when it comes time to discuss the appropriate dating age and wanting her own cell phone.)
  4. I now cross my fingers that in between the time that the kids are put to bed and I leave the house in the morning, one of them doesn't get sick, have a liquid absorption device malfunction, get hungry, have a bad dream, fall out of bed, or just plain wake up ready to start the day at 4AM.    (The reason I am crossing my fingers is because an approved pass is not a guarantee.  The Surfing With Kids Bylaws: Article 1: Section 1: Paragraph A; states: A surf pass can be revoked at anytime for any reason and is not transferable to another day or time.  This is not a frequent occurrence, but it has happened.
Today 1-4 above have all gone in my favor,  I am now on my way. Literally today at 6:05am, I am going to go surfing.  One last check of the current wind and ocean conditions and....the wind has gone South, forecast to be West which is not ideal, but still surfable, but South wind is a deal breaker.  Oh well, a quick check of The Surfing With Kids Bylaws 1.1.A to confirm that my pass has been revoked and now it's time to scour Craigslist for a new lawnmower.  

I really do appreciate surfing more now than ever, just like I would appreciate a giant glass of water after being stranded in the desert for a week.  Thank you to my beautiful wife for supporting my foolish pursuit of a completely selfish endeavor.  In the not too distant future I am hoping that the kids will develop an interest in surfing; or at the very least an interest in something that allows me to surf more.  Until then I will continue to submit my surf pass applications and live vicariously through my friends that still get to drink water on a regular basis.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Better Late Than.....

It has been awhile since we updated this blog.  Natalie started it, but with two jobs, two kids, and an adolescent husband, she has enough going on.  I am going to give it shot.  Since we don't have any family for almost 200 miles, my hope is to keep all of you connected to what is happening in "whine" country.

So the last 18 months have been hectic.  Anyone that has made the transition from one child to two knows the deal.  We thought one child was life changing, well the second has shown us the true meaning of change.  I no longer have any sympathy for our friends that only have one child.  I know it is a challenge, but now I think "there are two of you and one of them; advantage adult".  Talk to me when you are home alone with a napper and a non-napper in the same house at the same time.  Not that we would trade it for the world.  Everyday presents an opportunity for me to hone my mediation and negotiation skills.

What to say about Walt?  To say the least Walter has been an active baby.  His favorite game is "What To Fall Off Of", or what I like to call "WTF" for short.  He started climbing before he could walk.

Here he is climbing his changing table.

I questioned the wisdom of taking this photo before rescuing the baby from himself, but I was told that no one would have believed her without photographic evidence.

If nothing else, we were put on notice this day that Walter had entered that phase that all babies go through;  mobile enough that that they can't be left alone even for a moment, but still lacking even the most basic self preservation instincts.

Here he is in the fridge....

and going up the slide....

and climbing on the dishwasher.

The most dramatic climbing photos have been omitted for fear that some liberal child advocate would turn us in for child endangerment simply because our child began training to summit Everest at age 6 months. You know who you are.  (tangent stopped short for Natalie's sake)

Campbell has flourished at Grandma Chris' preschool.  She has expanded her network of friends, although Gracie remains her bestie.  She is beginning to read sight words and has eclipsed the kindergarten standard of counting to 100.

She has developed her own sense of style and routinely dresses herself for the day.

She has embraced her role as Big Sister.  She is always willing to pitch in and help Walter achieve his objectives.

It really is amazing to see the way they interact.  Just in the last few months Walter has moved beyond self awareness and has started to take an interest in what Campbell is doing.  So far, they seem to be bonding pretty well.  However Walter still lacks the self control that is required to be a good playmate;  his chosen method to express displeasure is hair pulling.

Campbell has remained the consummate professional sibling and tattled instead of retaliating in kind.  It remains to be seen what happens when she views him as a physical equal  instead of a "baby".

To be continued....