January 28, 2011

My Daughter, The Teacher of Important Life Lessons

After dinner last night, my lovely and adventurous daughter was taken out of her high chair. She proceeded to crawl around under the kitchen table, weaving in and out of the chair legs, climbing around like a mongoose in search of prey. After a few minutes of this, we stopped hearing noises and I looked down to discover her laying on her back under the table, reaching for the underside and watching her hands play across the wood. She was lazily kicking her legs about and generally being a little kid in the throws of her imagination.

I decided this would be a perfect time for me to reclaim a bit of my own lost childlike innocence and imagination, while at the same time, spending some quality time with my daughter. I, too, laid on the floor under the kitchen table. Sara continued to enjoy her dinner as Harper and I chatted, reached for the underside of the table and imagined a world of dragons and wizards.

Those of you who have met my daughter may be aware that "stationary" is not a quality that could be often used to describe her. True to her nature, within a few minutes, she got tired of not moving. She began to crawl and climb again, poking her head out from under the jackets draped over the chairs, smiling cunningly at her mother, slipping back in and twisting and turning through the legs and supports of the chairs.

This was now, apparently, more fun than it was before because now there was something else under the table. Something that would tickle/bite her if she got too close. Something that would grab her ankle and drag her back if she got too far away.

Through all of this, I was reminded of two very important ideas. The first was that you should never be too old or too cool to play. I find myself saying and doing things that I couldn't even conceive of two years because I would have felt foolish. Before Harper, Sara helped me to let myself be silly again. With her, I've done so many things that can only be described as goofy. I owe her a deep debt of gratitude for that. Harper allows me to continue and get even more silly than I would before.

The second lesson came as Harper exited our make-shift jungle gym. She taught me to always be prepared for attacks to the internal organs. She decided to take the route out that required her to climb over me. As a foot went into my face, I thought "Well, this is the end of play time. She's leaving our cave." It was folly to take my mind off of the task at hand, as I soon learned with the aid of a miniature foot to the gut.

As Harper bounced from under the table, she stepped on my intestine and my lack of focus caused me to soil myself.

Just a little bit...

To make up for the image I just put into your head, here's a nicer one.

January 22, 2011

My Daughter, The Theoretical Physicist

There is a key concept in quantum physics known as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle. In very simple terms, it means that you can never know both the position and velocity of a particle because as soon as you have measured one, you have, by your observation and measurements, altered the other. You can know one with precision, but not both.

This idea only applies to subatomic particles and there is a huge push in physics to find a way to connect it with larger systems that are ruled by gravity. This unified theory which was what Einstein was striving for near the end of his life, has a few controversial concepts already developed in M-theory and string theory, but these are hotly contested in the physics community. If you don't know what I'm talking about, don't feel bad. I don't really know either.

Dr. Harper Aion, PhD., however, has managed to apply quantum theory to larger objects. After being placed down for a nap for a prolonged period of time, it is uncertain as to whether or not she is still asleep, or awake in her crib playing with her toys and talking to herself. In theory, she will continue to sleep indefinitely in this uncertain quantum state, with the probability of wakefulness increasing as time passes.


Then, she is observed. By my wife. Who just wants to check on her. As with subatomic particles, this intervention by an observer modifies the state of the observed. If we were discussing Schroedinger's Cat, we would say the the observation would force the particle (Harper) to a determined state, either awake or asleep, with equal probability.

However, in this particular universe, the modification on the observed by the observers forces her, always, into one determined state. That state is awake and crying.

I'm not sure how many concussions my wife has suffered as a result of my tackling her to the ground before she can poke her head in and observe the Harpers-Boson. Yesterday morning, I was not paying attention and so, at 5 am, Sara poked her head in to make sure the baby was ok.

She was.

Until she was observed.

Since it was Sara's own fault, I only felt a quantum amount of guilt about leaving for work.

January 10, 2011

My Daughter, The Daughter

Happy New Year!

Quick updates to be followed by longer, but not better, post!

I've been boxing a little more, hurting myself a lot more. I hope to continue to do the former, not the latter. I've been trying to eat less sugar and overall just eat less. Seems to be working for now...

In anticipation of our upcoming expenses, I've been MUCH more conscious of where I spend the little bit of disposable income I have left after bills. This past week, I spent a total of $15 on gas. I hope I can continue to not spend money on things I don't need. No more stopping for coffee and egg, sausage and cheese sandwiches on the way to work. (see Fitness)

Everyone in the immediate family is healthy. No boils, warts, open sores, or diseases to report. Sara is feeling huge and tired, as is expected.

This leads very nicely into my thoughts of the moment. There was an episode of The West Wing (one of the best shows on TV), that I'm sure my brother can quote word for word, called Abu el Banat. To quote Wikipedia, The title refers to a visit the President paid to Egypt with his family, where the tour guide constantly introduced him to everyone they met as "Abu El Banat." When asked, the guide told him it meant "father of daughters." The people to whom he was introduced then paid for the future President's tea out of sympathy for the special difficulties faced by a man raising three girls.

In a little over a month and a half, I will Abu el Banat. I'm not distressed or upset by this development. I am overjoyed that everyone is healthy. My mother has had a vision of me surrounded by my girls.

I mention this, not because I want people to pay for my tea, although that would be in line with some of my goals for the new year (see Financial) but because I find it amusing that when Sara and I were discussing starting a family, I jinxed myself by saying how terrified I was to have daughters.

Did I say "was?" I meant "am."

Don't get me wrong, I have no problem changing diapers and I've gotten better at giving Harper a bath without feeling a little weirded out. I adore my daughter more than I ever though I would. I can watch her sleep for hours and when she's crying and reaches for me, I can imagine myself running across deserts and swimming oceans for her. I have trouble imagining that I could love anyone as much I love her. I do wonder if I'll be able to love the second one as much and I've already told Sara that she can have the new one and I'll take the old one.

I'm getting a bit far from where I wanted to go...

What I am scared of now is the same thing that I was scared of when I made the statements. At some point, she will grow up and boys will start noticing her. They will be thinking horrendous things that would make the Marque deSade blush. They will try to get her to do things with them. On top of all of this, she will hate me. If not because I will brutally dismember anyone with a member who even glances in her direction with anything in their heart other than a desperate need to help her open the doors to a nunery, then because at some point, she will be a teenager and will be obligated by society to hate me.

I have years to brew these thoughts in the ungodly cauldron that is my mind. With a second daughter, my thoughts will get even worse.

Sara and I have been having an issue with Netflix (It's related, bear with me.) Sara keeps putting movies on her queue that relate to domestic violence, cheating, or the deaths of husbands/wives. I thought she might have been sending a message about how much she secretly hated me, but it has given me an idea. I will start adding movies to the cue about boys who beat their girlfriends, take advantage, and generally mistreat them. I will add movies about strong, independent women who discover a life that is wonderful without the need for boyfriends. I will add movies about women who find happiness by reaching for their goals and pushing boys to the side, to be found at some later date, after the credits.

Already, every time Harper falls down, or bumps her head on something sharp, or generally hurts herself, I follow it up with "Oh no! Did that mean boy hurt you!" "That boy sure does have sharp corners."

I've been told that I seem to be grooming my daughters to be lesbians, to which I reply "Lesbians generally don't end up pregnant at 16."

Maybe I could take the approach with which my uncle found success: I will simply keep them so busy with activities that they will be unable to find the time for boys.

I suddenly understand why Stephanie Meyer (may her pens dry up and her manuscripts forever get lost in the mail) takes 300 pages for her high school senior to finally have sex with the "love of her life."

She was writing it for her daughters. It's just an unfortunate oversight on the part of a "loving" God that other people had to see her literary feces.

But that's a topic for another day.

Pictures? Sure!

P.S. I may in the future do a Q&A on here about whatever. If you have questions that you would like me to answer, feel free to leave them!

Abu el Banat, signing off for now.



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