Archive for December, 2012

Sometimes, the modern Dad can be tempted to wonder if he is “Dad Enough.” Is he, or hey, am *I*, as much of a Dad as my Dad was or my wife’s Dad was or even, dare of all dares, their Dads were?

You know, you do tend to wonder these things as as you are sipping a Peppermint Mocha Latte that you just paid $5 for or as you are sitting in the car place asking them for their Wifi password while some other dude changes your oil.

And just then, along comes The Test. For me, that was Christmas Eve day when, at 10 a.m., I lugged a giant box into the walk-in closet that I share with Wife and pried it open. It was a dollhouse, ordered from a place called Kidcraft, made specifically to accommodate Barbies.

I have done this often enough to know that the scope of a job can be quickly calculated by the size of the screw pack that comes with the item. This one was a biggie. There was one size of screw that contained 28 pieces. The letters went from A through R. ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQR is a lot of different sizes of screw.

I pulled each piece of this monster out of the box and propped them around the room. I could tell then, that this was going to take a while. I hoped two hours would do it. I also decided something: “If I get this thing put together, if anybody asks, I am ALLOWED to say: Yes, that is the dollhouse that I BUILT for Rosebud.”

The directions sheet went EIGHT pages. Did you know that they don’t really write directions, in words, anymore? They just draw pictures and you have to figure out what the pictures mean and where the dotted lines indicate that the screws are supposed to go? Check out the first two pages in that photo. This is the SAT problem of all SAT problems.

By 1 p.m., three hours in, I decided to have a beer.

I called Wife in twice to make sure I had the proper interpretation — as she went to architecture school.

The dollhouse grew and grew until it was about as tall as my chest.

Finally, four hours and one Pale Ale later, it was done. “There it is,” I thought, “that’s the dollhouse I built for Rosebud.”

And I had two other thoughts:

Yeah, I’m Dad Enough.

And, this sucker is from Wife and I. If Santa wanted his name on this beast, he could’ve sent down a couple of elves.

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Call Me…Maybe Not

ImageKids have a highly sensitive detector for adult bullshit. An ability to see through the stuff that we have either consciously decided to tolerate, to go along to get along, or have just been desensitized to.

Case in point: Elizabeth decorated cookies and took them across the street to for our neighbor and our neighbor’s mom, who is visiting. Neighbor wasn’t home, but called as soon as she got there to thank Elizabeth.

Elizabeth, by then, was in the middle of a movie. Wife offered to pause the movie, but Elizabeth didn’t feel like talking on the phone.

“I HATE talking on the phone. Besides, she’s just across the street!”

Oh, sweet girl, sweet, innocent girl. The day will come, way too soon, when:

You will be upstairs in the house and your sister will be downstairs and you will both have phones and you will be texting each other. (This may be more suitable than the current practice of just yelling).

The working world, with all its “efficiencies,” is filthy with the overuse of communications technology. Picking up the phone to call someone three offices away. Emailing someone who is sitting across the room.

Or, and I think this is my favorite: People on a conference call, dialing into a toll-free number, sitting in offices next door to each other.

So you know what, Elizabeth, you WALK ACROSS that street, girl, and accept that “thank you” in person.

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