Fatherhood My Experiences as a Father...
September 5 to October 4, 2002 (41st month)

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Friday, October 4, 2002
Jill, Hilde and Maeve visited the family of one of my co-workers today.  My co-worker is from Tennessee, though he denies having lived in a rural setting.  Still, their house here is very rural, relative to the urban/suburban area in which they live.  They have several chickens, and when they were driving down the driveway, Jill told Maeve that she was the "chicken spotter".  If Maeve saw a chicken, she was to yell out so Jill wouldn't run it over.

Jill told the other lady that she couldn't have found a house more like a "Tennessee holler" in this area if they had search for years.

Sunday, September 29, 2002
Today Jill said she had an urge to decorate, and that that urge is often a sign that we are about to move.  We've had a tendency to move not long after we do a lot of work to our houses.

Saturday, September 28, 2002
Tonight Maeve said she wanted to go to Friendly's for dinner.  I said I thought we should go to RoJacks for a pack of hot dogs.  We could put the hot dogs someplace hot in the engine compartment, and then eat them with nothing else other than the ketchup we had in the trunk from shopping earlier.  I've seen it work with frozen burritos for commuting college students.

Maeve told me that she didn't like engine hot dogs.  I said I didn't think she had ever tried them, so she didn't really know if she liked them or not.  She said that she had tried them when she was a baby, and that she spit them out because she didn't like them.  Jill asked who had given her engine hot dogs, and she said I had.  That is not true, but she was pretty convinced that she would not like them.

Friday, September 27, 2002
I sometimes lay Hilde on my head and running around screaming that I have a baby on my head, just like I did with Maeve.  Now, just like Maeve did, Hilde laid a doll on her head and started running around in circles, laughing like crazy.

Friday, September 20, 2002
Maeve likes to move things from one room to another.  She will play with something in one room, carry it to another room, and then put it down to play with something else.  Hilde has started doing that now.  Jill found all of the mixing bowls by the bookshelf in Maeve's room and the brown gravy mix was on our dresser.

Thursday, September 19, 2002
Maeve got a cold last week, and has gotten better.  Hilde had it earlier this week, and now Jill and I have it.  Jill again told Maeve that it felt like her head was going to fall off, but she knew that Maeve would say that couldn't happen.  She told Maeve to watch and she slowly started tipping her head, like it was falling off.  That gave Maeve a bit of a surprise.  It's good for all of us that Jill was only joking, and that she still has her head.

Wednesday, September 18, 2002
Maeve's preschool had two field trips planned.  Maeve said she wanted me to go on the apple picking one, instead of having Jill and Hilde go.  We didn't actually pick any apples.  There was a little hay ride, a discussion of the equipment that cuts apples, and that makes apple cider and apple sauce.  Everyone got a goody bag with apples, a little bottle of cider and some honey sticks.

Saturday, September 14, 2002
CVS had discount tickets for a little racetrack in Massachusetts, and we went tonight.  The track is only 1/3 of a mile, and there isn't even room for a pit area.  We got to see all of the different flags and signal lights, the tow trucks, and the ambulances.  There were a bunch of short races, with pickups in one, some kind of stubby cars in another, regular stock cars in another, and even one had kids racing.

The kids racing is 10-16 year olds who have small stock cars with go-cart engines.  They can get up to 70 MPH.  A rookie girl racer lead the first 2/3 of the race, until an accident put her at the back of the field.

Hilde liked clapping, and was busy looking at everything.  She would keep seeing someone with a drink or popcorn, and she would point. She doesn't have words yet, but it was clear that she wanted what they had.  Maeve also had fun, and took out her earplugs after just a few minutes.  Hilde pulled hers out even faster, and started chewing on them.

With such a short track, a lot of what goes on is just driving fast with a lot of traffic.  There isn't too much opportunity for passing.  Minutes after we sat down Jill said, "I could do that.  I could easily do that."  Jill thought her years of commuting on route 128 north of Boston, with everyone trying to go 75-80 on narrow, windy roads, had given her the experience that she needed.

Jill's parents have lived just down the road from a little racetrack for 20 years, but Jill said today was the first time that she had ever been to a race.  She also said that she should have her father get her a NASCAR shirt or sweatshirt.  I reminded Jill that we had just bought her a high-dollar embroidery machine that would let her put logos on clothes herself, instead of paying any crazy markup.  Everyone needs to make a living, but when someone wants $40 for a polo shirt or $22 for a t-shirt, that's just gouging customers.

Thursday, September 12, 2002
Jill brought home her super fancy embroidery/sewing machine today.  It has enough features, and was expensive enough, that this should hold her for a very long time.  This one has a slot for a proprietary memory card to hold designs, but it also accepts a floppy disk.  We can also get computer software so we can create our own embroidery designs.

Sunday, September 8, 2002
Marianne came to visit this weekend.  Maeve asked me how to get boo-boos.  I explained the criteria for abrasions, lacerations, puncture wounds and burns.  Maeve is familiar with all of those.  Then Marianne helped me list the rest of the soft tissue injuries: contusion, evisceration, amputation, hematoma, penetrating, avulsion, etc.  Marianne and I were arguing about whether a hematoma is just a bad contusion, and Jill stopped us before we got to explain all of this to Maeve.  Jill said that Maeve was only looking for an answer like, "You can fall down, you can cut your finger on some glass, etc."

I think that would be a pretty lame answer.  I think it's worth explaining exactly what a laceration or abrasion is, instead of, "You can fall on the road, you can fall on the sidewalk, you can fall at preschool, etc."  I guess we don't have to explain exactly what an evisceration or amputation is right now, but we'll cover the rest when she's a little older.

Friday, September 6, 2002
Today Jill told Maeve, "I have a headache.  I think my head is going to fall off."  Maeve replied, "Don't be silly!  God made your head stuck on, with blood and stuff inside.  It can't fall off."

Thursday, September 5, 2002
Maeve asked me when she would be as big as me.  I said she grows a little every day, and would probably stop growing about the time that she learns to drive.

Tonight I told Maeve about a Peter Pan play that we could go to while Jill and Hilde are in Richmond for a wedding.  I explained that it is a story about kids who don't want to grow up.  Maeve said, "That's silly!  You have to drive!"

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