Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
November 5 to December 4, 2000 (19th month)

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Monday, December 4, 2000
Maeve was going to the bathroom in her diaper and Jill told her that she could go to the bathroom in the toilet.  Maeve went into the bathroom and Jill held her on the seat as she tried.  We will have to get Maeve her own seat in the new house.  She learned long ago what was going on with the toilet, and likes to close the lid and flush for everyone.  Hopefully that knowledge will speed along this toilet training.

Friday, December 1, 2000
I went to the new house tonight to drop off boxes of books and to clean up the garage before moving lots of stuff over tomorrow.  Jill had told me that there was no grass due to the replacement of the septic system.  I thought she meant they had left no grass over the new drain field.  When I pulled in I found no grass in the entire front yard.  Jill really meant, "There is NO grass".

Townsend is pretty sparse compared to Lowell.  Townsend has 32.83 square miles with a population of 8,885, giving it a population per square mile of 270.   Lowell has 13.78 square miles of land (the Merrimack River was not counted) with a population of 103,439, giving it a population per square mile of 7,509.  Lowell has over 27 times more people per square mile than Townsend.

In Lowell, there are street lights both in our parking lot and on the main street.  With such a high population density, there is also a lot of other light in the city.  All of that light results in Lowell being a pretty well-lit place.  I have no problem getting around in the house at night without turning on any lights.  If there are low clouds or snow on the ground, it's even brighter.

Townsend is very dark.  When I turned out all of the lights in the house, it was really dark.  That is going to be a big change.

Wednesday, November 29, 2000
Jill has been trying to pack with Maeve's help for a few days.  Maeve will spread around the newspaper that Jill is using to pack things up.  Then Maeve will wrap up things like her socks, and put them in boxes.

Often Jill doesn't move fast enough for Maeve, though;  Maeve will point to pictures on the wall, and Jill tries to explain that they are not getting packed yet, but Maeve still insists.  Jill is planning to have Nanny Carol watch Maeve while Jill tries to finish.

Sunday, November 26, 2000
Maeve and I spent a lot of father-daughter bonding time today.  First we went to Toys R Us.  Jill wants Maeve to get her own kitchen set, so Maeve will stop taking all of the pans, bowls, cookie sheets, spoons, pot holders, etc. from the kitchen into the living room.  I said if Maeve is to get a kitchen set, then she should also get a workbench/toolset.  We found a good deal on the kitchen set by the Barbies.  The packages in that part of the store were mostly pink.  We were having trouble finding tool sets, but we eventually found them in the boys' section.  The first tool set had a picture of a girl with her tools and the little apron, but the placement in the store makes it tough for most girls to find it.  We saw several tool sets, but the only workbench was for children 8 years and older.  We are going to have to work on finding a suitable match to the kitchen set.

Jill left me home alone with Maeve tonight so she could go see a movie with the church youth group.  Maeve and I put a new windshield into Jill's car.  I talked to Maeve about how I like to fix cars, my brother only likes to fix buildings (he's a structural engineer), and my sister probably doesn't own a wrench.  We all grew up with my father, who was fixing cars or doing home repairs most weekends.  We were all exposed to that, but we have different levels of interest in being handy.  I said I hoped that she liked to fix things, too.  Even if she didn't, I told her I thought she should at least be aware of what it takes to fix things.  I got to brag about the time that Jill had some problem with her exhaust system before we got married.  I found the problem and showed Jill the diagram in the manual.  She went back to Richmond and took it to the muffler shop.  The man was explaining to her that there was a problem with "the little muffler in front of the main muffler".  It took him a few seconds to comprehend what was happening when Jill replied, "You mean the Pre-Silencer?"  I want Maeve to at least be able to make it known that she is not an ignorant woman in her dealings with repair people.

Thursday, November 23, 2000
We have been having Thanksgiving dinner at church for the last three years.  People who are not going to visit family, or who do not have any family nearby have dinner at church.  We had about 40 people signed up this year.  In years past, Pam Meyer has taken care of cooking the turkey.  This year she was not available, so Jill ended up doing it.  She cooked about 40 lbs of turkey and 10 lbs of ham, along with two side dishes.  The Skardas brought some brisket, and everyone brought other side dishes or deserts.

Pastor came into the kitchen as the turkeys were being carved.  He said, "Oh no, we don't have an electric knife here".  We had our Cutco carving knife.  I wanted to say, "That's OK.  We have a SHARP knife".  Instead I kept my comments to, "That won't be necessary."

We also saw an electric knife being used on TV.  I guess an electric knife seems like a logical thing to use if you have always used one, but they seem more like a power saw to me.  They still tear the meat instead of cutting it; they just make smaller tears because the blades are moving faster.  I much prefer using a sharp knife.  I'm glad that Maeve will be able to grow up knowing what it is like to have sharp knives, instead of having to resort to gimmicks like electric knives.

After we finished eating, Maeve was chasing two older boys around the fellowship hall.  She was yelling at them, and they kept running around in circles.  I guess they knew who they were dealing with, and didn't want to let Maeve get too close.

Monday, November 13, 2000
Jill called me at work today to say that Maeve was abusing her.  Maeve is running into her with the stroller, and Maeve thought it was funny when she got Jill's finger caught in a book.  Maeve was running me over with her stroller yesterday.  Once Maeve was in the bathroom and Jill opened the refrigerator door and blocked Maeve's exit from the bathroom.  Maeve used her stroller to push on the refrigerator door, like she was trying to squish mom.

I said that Maeve was trying to get revenge for all of the "bruises in various stages of healing" that she has.

Sunday, November 12, 2000
Maeve sometimes coughs as though it's like talking.  It's all noise to her, so as far as she knows, we are trying to communicate something by coughing.  Today in church, another child was coughing.  Maeve kept coughing in response.

Saturday, November 11, 2000
Maeve went off the bed head first a few times before we got her to listen when we told her to go down backwards.  Now she can get off the bed and couch without any problem.  Today she went down stairs backwards for the first time.

Sunday, November 5, 2000
Maeve woke me up today, but I laid back down.  She walked over to the bed and pulled on my hair, trying to raise my head.

Tonight she gave me a little pillow.  I laid down on the floor with the pillow under my head.  Then I put the pillow under the head of one of her dolls and laid back down.  She took the pillow from under the doll's head, and pulled on my hair to raise my head so she could put the pillow back under my head.

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